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Red Pepper Sauce

Salsa di Peperoni Rossi

Makes About 3 1/2 Cups

Peperoni means "peppers", not the dried sausage used on pizza. Peppers are everywhere in Italian cuisine: Stuffed, fried, baked, marinated, and eaten raw. I like to make a sauce out of red bell peppers and cream that is wonderful on pasta and fish. Try it on Ravioli con Aragosta.

Ingredients

4 large red bell peppers

4 tablespoons butter

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup heavy cream or half-and-half

1 teaspoon grated nutmeg

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated black pepper

1/4 cup minced fresh basil or thyme

Directions

Place the peppers on a lightly greased broiler pan and broil, turning occasionally, until blackened all over, about 15 minutes. Place the peppers in a large paper bag, close the bag tightly, and let cool for 20 minutes.

Peel the peppers and remove the seeds and cores. Rinse the peppers well, place them in a food processor or blender, and puree until smooth. Set aside.

In a large frying pan, heat the butter and sauté the garlic over medium heat until soft. Add the pepper puree and mix well. Lower the heat and gradually stir in the heavy cream. Add the nutmeg, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the basil or thyme. Serve immediately over hot pasta or refrigerate for up to 3 days.

This recipe is from CIAO ITALIA by Mary Ann Esposito, published by William Morrow and Company Inc., in 1991.

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