Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
This sauce enhances the lovely sweet and smoky flavors of Roasted Red Bell Peppers with the mellowed bite of lightly fried garlic. Other than a little optional salt and sugar, no other flavorings are added, which makes the result very extendable. It can be used as a sauce, dip, or condiment in its own right, but is largely designed to be an ingredient in other dishes, or a starting point for other condiments and sauces.
A Note on the Ingredients
This current recipe calls for 1 cup of Roasted Red Bell Pepper flesh, which, along with the other ingredients yields about ¾ of a cup of finished sauce.
You can purchase jars of Roasted Peppers to use here instead, of course, but it is much more satisfying to roast your own. If you have not done this before, you can have a look at the process in my primer on How to Make Roasted Red Peppers.
In addition to Garlic, the recipe also calls for a little salt and sugar. Some salt *is* needed, and a half teaspoon is about right, but the sugar may, or may not be necessary. Red Bell Peppers take on a lovely sweetness of their own when roasted, but sometimes a little additional sugar can round out any slightly bitter edges. It is unlikely, though, that you will need more than the teaspoonful called for here.
Naturally, you can certainly add whatever additional spices or herbs you like, but I have purposely kept this recipe very simple to make it more versatile. As noted in the introduction, the finished product can be used alone as a sauce or condiment, but it is primarily intended to be the base for more complex preparations, or an ingredient in dishes that will also contain other flavorings.
The Basic Method
Here, you can see the minced garlic being lightly fried in Extra Virgin Olive Oil, with the cup of Roasted Red Pepper flesh in the background waiting to be added. You only need to fry the garlic until it is soft and barely beginning to darken.
Once the garlic is soft, you can add the Red Pepper flesh and cook until it begins to soften and break down. The flesh will release water as it cooks and you want to keep cooking stirring as needed, until the liquid has all but totally evaporated and the oil separates out.
At this point to can purée your sauce. For this amount, an immersion blender is fine but, if you are making a very large batch, a food processor might be easier. For certain uses, such as a drizzle for plating enhancement, you might want to pass the sauce through a fine sieve but, for most purposes, just puréeing normally will be sufficient.
Some Dishes Using Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
A Dish of Penne with Pork and Spinach in Homemade Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sauce
A Naan ‘Pizza’ with Lamb and Feta Cheese, seasoned with Cumin and Chili, and using Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sauce instead of a Tomato based Sauce
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Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
- 1 Cup Roasted Red Bell Pepper Flesh
- 4 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 Tbsp. Minced Garlic
- ½ tsp. Salt or to taste
- 1 tsp. Sugar or to taste
- Heat the Olive Oil in a pan over moderate heat and fry the garlic until it is soft and just beginning to darken slightly.
- Add the Red Bell Pepper and continue to cook, stirring as needed, until the flesh has begun to break down and the expelled watery juices have largely evaporated.
- Puree the contents of the pan and, if necessary, continue to cook a little longer until the desired consistency is reached.
- Adjust for sweetness and salt by taste, adding either sugar, or salt, as needed.
- Cool and store in the refrigerator until needed.