Saturday, August 20, 2011

Pasta with Red Bell Pepper Cream Sauce

Bell Peppers.  They are just so beautiful.  Peppers are my "go to veggie" (OK, they're technically a fruit) when I need to dress up a salad or throw some color in a dish.  And so many colors to choose from!  I eat them whole, chopped, sears, grilled, you name it.

I came across this recipes online by accident.  I was getting a little bored of tomato sauce (did I just say that out loud?) a few months back and was trying to brainstorm some ideas for my vegetarian friends.  I feel like I'm always making them lasagna and salad.  Veggies can be exciting too you know!  Thanks

So here you go.  You won't believe the color on this sauce!  Simple ingredients.  Fresh, creamy, vibrant and inviting.

Red Bell Pepper Sauce:

2 lovely bell peppers
2 cups heavy cream (just do it)
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

I told you it was simple.

Measure out your cream.

Chop your peppers.  I chose a bright red one and a dark orange one.

Bring the cream and peppers to a boil over medium heat, and then simmer at medium low for about 30 minutes uncovered so the cream reduces to about half.

Pop the sauce, thus far, into a blender.

Add your lemon juice

Salt it up.

Cayenne.  Not to worry... the cream really balances it.  A perfect subtle heat.

The paprika adds to the color.  It wasn't till I was reviewing the ingredients while dining that I remembered the paprika.  It's easy to think the bright color is ALL on account of the bell peppers.  The truth is, the paprika helps it out.

And your pepper.  If you have white pepper, that would be best.  It's really more for looks.

For goodness sake, don't forget the lid!  I've done that way too many times.  Blend 'er up for a minute or so.  Look at that color.

We decided to add some grilled chicken (pat dried and sprinkled with salt and pepper).

Pour the sauce back into the pot.  At this point you have cooked your noodles of choice.  Angel hair would have gone nicely.  I used spaghetti- it's just my favorite.  I know, boring and predictable but I can't help it!

Let the noodles and sauce (and meat if desired- shrimp would have been a great choice too) cook together and simmer a bit.  This is SO important for the pasta to soak up some of that sauce.  The color will cling to the noodle.

Lastly, plate it up with your favorite toast.  I mixed up some herbed butter- a staple in our house.  Chris puts it on everything.

This sauce was a keeper and just so energetic looking.  The noodles nearly danced in the color.

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