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Roasted Red and Yellow Pepper Sauce with Garlic and Basil

Source: Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking
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Active Time:  30 Minutes
Total Time:  30 Minutes
  Makes 4 servings
Roasting peppers is one way of separating them from their skin, but in this magnificent Neapolitan sauce the peeler is the better way. When roasted, peppers become soft and partly cooked, but to be sautéed successfully, as they need to be here, the peppers must be raw and firm, as they are when skinned with a peeler.
3 meaty bell peppers, some red, some yellow
16 to 20 fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
1 pound pasta
Wash the peppers in cold water. Cut them lengthwise along their crevices. Scoop away and discard their seeds and pulpy core. Peel the peppers, using a swiveling-blade peeler and skimming them with a light, sawing motion. Cut the peppers lengthwise into strips about 1/2 inch broad, then shorten the strips, cutting them in two.

Rinse the basil leaves in running cold water, and gently pat them dry with a soft towel or paper towels, without bruising them. Tear the larger leaves by hand into smaller pieces.

Choose a saute pan that can subsequently accommodate all the peppers without crowding them. Put in the olive oil and the garlic cloves, and turn on the heat to medium high. Cook and stir the garlic until it becomes colored a light nut brown, them remove and discard it.

Put the peppers in the pan, and continue to cook at a lively heat for another 15 minutes, stirring frequently. The peppers are done when they are tender, but not mushy. Add an adequate amount of salt, stir, and take off the heat. Gently reheat when you'll be getting ready to toss the pasta.

When you are nearly ready to drain and toss the pasta, melt the butter in a small saucepan at low heat. It should be just runny, not sizzling.

TO SERVE: Toss the cooked pasta with the contents of the saute pan, then add the melted butter, the grated Parmesan, and the basil and toss thoroughly once more. Serve at once.

RECOMMENDED PASTA: Ridged rigatoni would be best here, but other tubular pasta, such as penne, ziti or maccheroncini, would also be good.

Recipe courtesy of
Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking
by Marcella Hazan
Published by Alfred A. Knopf,
a division of Random House Inc.

Recipe reprinted by permission of . All rights reserved.
Date Added: 01/01/2008
Nutrition Facts per Serving
Yield:   Makes 4 servings
Calories: 367
Fat. Total: 19g
Fiber: 4g
Carbohydrates, Total: 36g
Sodium: 320mg
% Cal. from Fat: 47%
Cholesterol: 66mg
Protein: 14g
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