The sauce is a hundred per cent vegan. Toss it with pasta and you have a delicious vegan meal. If your vegetarian regime includes dairy products, top the dish with sprinkled cheese and you double the deliciousness. If you’re neither vegan nor vegetarian and you love bacon (like I do!), top the macaroni with red bell pepper sauce with crisp fried bacon and you have a sensational pasta dish.
The Italian red bell pepper sauce is simple to prepare and requires only very basic ingredients — bell peppers, garlic, salt, vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. Per the recipe in The Silver Spoon, the bell peppers were blanched then peeled before they were pureed. Next time, I will roast the bell peppers on the gas burner. A little smokiness is always a nice touch. You can get the same smoky flavor off the bell peppers by roasting them on a grill. If smoky flavor isn’t your thing, you can just stick to the basics and blanch the bell peppers in boiling water for about five minutes. Whichever way you cook the bell peppers, you’ll need to peel off the skins before making the sauce.
Italian red bell pepper sauce (salsa di peperoni)
- Blanch the bell peppers in briskly boiling water for about five minutes or until the skins blister. Scoop out, cool a bit and peel off the skins. Cut off the stems, slit and scoop out the seeds.
- In a small sauce pan, heat the vinegar and garlic.
- Place the bell peppers, vinegar and garlic in a food processor. Process on high speed until pureed.
- With the motor running, pour the olive oil in the thin stream through the spout. The sauce will lighten in color as the mixture emulsifies.
- Pour the sauce into a bowl. Add salt to taste.