This rich and creamy roasted red pepper sauce is loaded with amazing flavors from red peppers, buttery roasted garlic cloves, Parmesan cheese and fresh basil.
In Provo, Utah, there is a restaurant just south of BYU campus called Brick Oven. They serve pizzas and pasta and it is an institution for anyone who has ever been to BYU. In my 8 years in Provo as first an undergrad and then a law student, I went there on dates, before or after ball games or dances, to celebrate birthdays or graduation, or for no reason at all other than my family was in town to visit and the food at Brick Oven is just goooood. Not fancy or ground-breaking, but definitely delicious. Especially their roasted red pepper sauce.
My favorite thing about Brick Oven is their pasta bar where you choose two from ten or so different fresh pastas that change from day-to-day (black pepper fettucini! garlic fettucini! red pepper fettucini! I need to learn to make pasta so I can have them all!) and they get dumped into boiling water and cooked for you right there as you watch. While you wait, you can select either meatballs or Italian sausages and garlic bread pulled straight from an open-flame brick oven to go with your pasta. Then you get to choose your sauce, which is self-serve so you can do any combination you want. I always chose the roasted red pepper sauce, usually with a little marinara or alfredo sauce on the side for good measure (and because I could!).
Now that I don’t live in Provo anymore, if I want amazing roasted red pepper sauce like I remember from Brick Oven, I have to make it myself. Like my classic homemade marinara sauce or the sauce from my Bombay House (incidentally, another BYU hotspot) copycat chicken tikka masala, this roasted red pepper sauce takes a little extra time. It’s not hard, and it’s not like you will be slaving all day, but there are a couple of extra steps, like roasting your peppers and garlic, that are totally worth it because the flavor of the sauce is so wonderful and unique. Use this tutorial on how to make roasted garlic for an easy way to make it in your oven and this tutorial on how to make roasted red peppers (way cheaper and much tastier than the jarred ones you get at the store!). And the splash of cream and freshly grated Parmesan take this sauce over the top and give it a richness and creaminess that is just so, so yummy. Serve roasted red pepper sauce over your favorite pasta. It’s wonderful with grilled sausages, Italian meatballs, or Parmesan chicken, or just have it for a wonderful meatless meal with a little extra fresh Parmesan grated over the top.
- 4-5 large red peppers, quartered with stems and seeds removed
- 2 heads garlic, roasted
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 medium onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, sliced into thin strips
- 16 ounces fresh fettuccine, cooked according to package directions.
Preheat the oven to broil on high. Roast the peppers, skin side up under the broiler for 7-10 minutes or until skins are blackened all around. Remove from the oven and place peppers in a glass bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let the peppers steam for 30 minutes, then remove the skins with your fingers (they should slip right off). Chop.
Prepare the fettuccine according to package directions in salted water. Drain and toss with a little olive oil.
Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat, then sauté the onions in the olive oil until soft. Add the roasted peppers and roasted garlic with the cloves removed from the papery skin, and stir to combine and heat through.
Transfer the contents of the pan to a blender or food processor and puree.
Melt the butter in the same pan. Pour the red pepper puree back into the pan with the butter and add the broth, cream, milk and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir to combine, then taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
Remove pan from heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese. Add the cooked pasta and gently toss to coat.
Sprinkle with a little additional Parmesan cheese and basil strips and serve immediately.
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