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04.20.2006

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today's special | Penne with 
Roasted Bell Pepper Sauce 
Roasted bell pepper sauce is a nice alternative to plain-old tomato sauce.  Use red and yellow peppers, which are sweeter than the green ones.

ingredients
3 bell peppers, at least 1 red
1 can [14.5 oz] diced, peeled tomatoes OR 6-8 fresh roma tomatoes*
2 cloves garlic
1 small yellow onion
1/8 cup fresh basil leaves 
2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb. penne
crushed red pepper, optional
salt + pepper to taste
time 1-1.25 hrs
serves 3-4

* If using fresh tomatoes: Boil 4" water in a pot. Slice an x, just breaking the skin, at the bottom of each tomato. Drop tomatoes in water for 20 sec, promptly remove from pot and rinse in cold water. The skins should now peel off easily. Slice in half, core, remove seeds, and chop roughly.
1. Pre-heat oven to 500F. Rinse + dry 3 bell peppers, then rub with olive oil. Place peppers on a baking sheet lined with tin foil. Roast for 25 minutes, turning mid-way. When the peppers begin to blister + blacken, remove them from the oven. Place in a small container + cover. 
2.
 While the peppers cool, crush, peel and chop 2 cloves of garlic. Peel and finely chop 1 small yellow onion.
3. Boil 3 quarts of water in a large pot.
4. Pour 2 tbsp. olive oil in a skillet; heat on low-medium for 1 minute.
5. Add garlic and stir, taking care to avoid burning the garlic. Cook for 2 minutes or until garlic begins to soften and turn translucent.
6. Add onions and stir, cooking until onions begin to soften and turn translucent, approx. 4-5 minutes.
7. Add 1 can tomatoes [drained] or 8 fresh peeled, de-seeded, + chopped roma tomatoes. Gently tear the basil leaves into small bits and add to the pan. Increase heat to high-medium.
8.When the peppers are cool enough to handle, peel, de-seed and chop into 1/2" wide, 2" long sections. Add to skillet, along with crushed red pepper, salt and pepper [start off with ~1 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of pepper].
9. Sometime around this point, the water should come to a boil. Add 1 lb. pasta to the pot and cook until it reaches the preferred texture [I like my pasta very al dente, with the center not quite cooked all the way through].
10.Cook the sauce, stirring, until the tomatoes begin to break down + lose their raw flavor, ~10 minutes.
11. Add more salt + pepper to taste. Serve over drained penne.

o

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