This roasted red pepper sauce with garlic and romano cheese is absolutely amazing! Roasting the peppers intensifies their flavor and if a little of the charred skin gets mixed into the final sauce, all the better. This is the perfect way to use up sweet bell peppers that are a little past their prime. Let me walk you through the process.
Start by roasting the peppers. I like to roast whole peppers over an open flame on the stovetop or barbeque grill. Another method that works well is to cut out the stem and seeds, then cut the peppers so they will lay flat on a foil-lined sheet pan (skin side up) and pop them under the broiler until the skin blisters and bubbles and turns black.
Place the blackened peppers in a bowl.
Cover well with plastic so the peppers can steam, which will loosen the skin. Allow them to cool completely. This can be done a day or two ahead of time - just pop the covered bowl into the fridge.
This is what my peppers looked like after spending the night in the fridge. See all the liquid in the bottom of the bowl? It's absolutely full of flavor, so I'm definitely not going to throw it away.
Note: You may not see that much liquid if you use your roasted peppers right away.
Strain and reserve any juices that may collect in the bowl.
Ok, now it's time to get a little messy. I like to use a paper towel to pull the charred skin off the peppers. I've also used a spoon or butter knife to scrape it away. One word of caution - do not rinse the peppers under running water. It will wash all that wonderful flavor away.
The charred skin will remove quite easily. Don't worry if some charred bits remain - they will add a lovely flavor to the sauce.
It's hard to believe that under that black blistered jacket, a vibrantly luscious pepper awaits.
I told you we were going to get a little messy, but as soon as you taste this sauce you'll know it was oh so worth it!!
Now that we've removed the charred skin, it's time to remove the stem and seeds. The peppers are so soft, you can literally pull the stem and seeds right out.
Now roughly chop the lovely roasted peppers and set them aside until needed. Make sure you do this before you proceed with the recipe so you can add them to the pan at exactly the right moment.
In a large skillet over medium high heat, saute garlic in olive oil.
Stir constantly for 30-60 seconds - being careful to not burn the garlic. As soon as you can smell the garlic, add the chopped peppers.
Sprinkle in the salt and pepper.
And a pat of butter. Butter makes everything better.
And here's where the sauce gets real good - add fresh basil, the best herb on earth!
Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.
I wish every person reading this could smell the lovely aroma wafting out of my skillet. I promise you would head straight into the kitchen to make this sauce.
Place the entire contents of the pan into a blender. Get every last drop!
Oh, and don't forget to add the strained pepper juice too.
Add grated romano cheese. You could also use parmesan, but romano has a little more flavor.
And a.dd a touch of cream.
Pulse, pulse, pulse to blend.
Don't blend it too much - it's nice if the sauce retains some texture.
Serve over pasta. I hope you are starving, because you're going to want seconds for sure. Enjoy!
Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
makes enough sauce to dress 1 pound pasta
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 roasted red bell peppers, peeled, seeded, and roughly chopped (reserve juices)
- 10-12 medium fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 3/4 ounce romano cheese, grated
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.
- Add garlic and stir constantly for 30-60 seconds.
- Add chopped red peppers, basil, salt, pepper, and butter; cook, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes.
- Remove mixture from heat and place pepper mixture, cheese, and cream in a blender; pulse until blended, but still a little chunky.
- Serve over cooked pasta.