red pepper sauce for pasta & the like

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Well, I guess I’ve been living up to the ‘occasional diary’ party lately 😦 Apologies for this; my life has been hectic & while I’ve still been cooking, finding the time/motivation to sit down & write about it has been difficult. Hopefully things are looking up 🙂

Anyway, we’ve managed to keep our vege garden going through the drought (so far, anyway) with some judicious hand-held hosing. One result has been an abundance of red peppers, so this morning I thought I’d turn the latest pickings into sauce. Not least because a friend of ours is allergic to tomatoes – this way I can still put a red sauce on pizza when he visits.

First up I put 50g butter & 3-4t Tsp of olive oil in a heavy frypan over a low heat, & while that was warming up I peeled 3 onions – 2 red & one brown, as it happens, because that’s what came to hand – and sliced them thinly before adding them to the pan. Kept the heat low because I wanted them to soften & begin to caramelise but definitely not to burn. While they cooked I peeled & sliced half a dozen large cloves of garlic & put them to one side – I don’t like to add the garlic too soon as it can sometimes catch & burn.

Then I turned to the dozen or so lovely ripe red peppers I’d picked. (These are the long pointed ones, not the more common short fat kind.) I cut off the stem end, sliced the peppers in half lengthwise, & picked out & discarded pith & seeds before slicing them into thin strips. A dozen peppers gave a rather large pile!

Next the garlic went into the pan, together with 1/4 tsp ground chilli (I don’t like sauces to be too fiery; I just wanted a bit of ‘bite’), 1&1/2 tsp smoked paprika, & 1 tsp salt. I stirred this around for a couple of minutes, then added the peppers & mixed everything well. Then I covered the pan with a lid & left everything to cook down for about 20 minutes, on a very low heat. On tasting the mix I decided to add a couple of tsp of brown sugar, just to give a slightly richer flavour.

And now the sauce is cooling, awaiting a quick tryst with the blender before I freeze it for later use. And the kitchen smells like summer.

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