Roasted Red and Yellow Pepper Sauce with Garlic and Basil

  • Active Time 30m
  • Total Time 30m

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, the peppers must be raw and firm, which is why they are when skinned with a peeler.


  • 3 meaty bell peppers, a mix of red and yellow
  • 16 to 20 fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • Salt
  • 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 wide, then shorten the strips, cutting them in two.

Rinse the basil leaves in running cold water, and gently pat them dry with a 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. Add the olive oil and the garlic cloves to pan, 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 medium 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're 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 melted, 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 Publisher. All rights reserved.

RecID 5727

nutrition information per serving

367 calories; 19g total fat; 66mg cholesterol; 320mg sodium; 36g carbohydrates; 4g fiber; 14g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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