This cozy weather calls for warming foods, and this week we made a gorgeous pasta sauce made with bright red peppers and tomatoes. This recipe can be served either as a pasta sauce for noodles, or be thinned slightly as a creamy soup. Either way, it’s pretty, delicious, and nourishing!
To make this recipe as a creamy, dreamy soup, simply skip the starch addition, and blend in extra milk or broth to thin to your desired soup texture (start with the 1 cup of liquid included in the ingredient list, and add more as needed).
For either, you can also swap out the type of liquid you use–my preference is for plant milk, like macadamia or almond milk. Whatever you choose, be sure that it’s unsweetened (not original, which always contain sugar). Instead of milk, you can also use a rich veggie broth; if you eat dairy, try using half and half to make the sauce super creamy.
If you don’t have fresh red peppers, you can certainly use jarred–use a little bit more than 1 cup of chopped peppers. In the video for this recipe I used orange tomatoes, but you can certainly use whatever color and type is available to you at this moment. I used the pretty Kahuku Gold tomatoes in my Grilled Romaine Salad a few weeks ago–find the full recipe here. Finally, choose whatever pasta you love best here: I chose a chickpea pasta (for my gluten-free sweetheart), but any kind will do here (though I’m partial to shells or twists, to get as much sauce as possible per bite)!
See all my other Oahu Fresh recipes here (featuring eggplant, sweet potato, kale, zucchini, tomatoes, Kabocha pumpkin, breadfruit, and more). For the Instagram video archive, check out the Oahu Fresh Instagram TV.
Red Pepper & Tomato Pasta Sauce
8-ounces pasta of choice
2 red or orange bell peppers
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped red onion
4 cloves garlic, chopped (or 1 Tablespoon dried garlic)
2 cups chopped, fresh tomatoes
Salt and ground black pepper (to taste)
1 cup unsweetened plant milk or veggie broth (I like macadamia nut milk)
1 Tablespoon cornstarch or potato starch (optional, if making soup)
1 big bunch of fresh basil
Nutritional yeast or shredded cheese for topping, optional
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Once cooked, drain and rinse, and drizzle with 1 Tablespoon of olive oil. Set aside.
- Chop peppers in half, remove the stem and inner parts. Lay pepper halves flat onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, and roast at 400º for 30 minutes.
- Check pepper for softness, and cook 10-15 minutes longer, depending on how ‘roasty’ you’d like them. The skins will blacken with extended roasting, so be sure to watch them carefully in the last few minutes of cooking.
- For a smoother sauce, you can peel off the pepper skins, but this is optional (and time consuming).
- While the peppers are cooking, add onions and remaining olive oil to a large skillet. Cook over medium-low heat until translucent and fragrant. Add garlic, cook 1 minute more.
- Add chopped tomatoes to skillet, and cook until very soft–about 10 minutes.
- Once the peppers are done, add them to a blender or food processor along with onion/tomato mixture.
- Add the milk (or broth) and the starch, then blend until smooth (working in two batches depending on the size of your blender).
- Add the sauce back to the saucepan, and warm over low heat, stirring consistently until the sauce thickens.
- Stir in fresh basil (whole or chopped, leaving some for garnish).
- Pour the sauce over your cooked noodles and garnish with nutritional yeast and/or a sprinkle of parmesan cheese as desired.
Yield: about 4 servings