Red peppers are sweet all by themselves but charring the skin and removing it eliminates its bitterness, leaving only sweet intensity. Whirl the skinned peppers together with onion, garlic and basil and sauté shrimp to pull it all together for a creamy, easy sauce. Shrimp are sweet, too, did you know?
All in all, it’s a pretty sweet deal to serve over pasta or with fresh, toasted bread for sopping. It’s your sauce and your choice.
Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Sauce with Shrimp Recipe
4 large red bell peppers
1 medium sweet onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
4 garlic cloves, outer skin removed, chopped
2 cups low-salt chicken broth
6 large basil leaves
4 T olive oil, divided
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup half-and-half
1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 T pine nuts
Pasta of choice — I don’t like to dictate. Pasta is an “of the mood” sort of thing. But if you’re into trying something new, bucatini, a hollowed out cousin of spaghetti, is a fun twist.
Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and toss with a couple tablespoons olive oil to prevent sticking. If not serving sauce over pasta — ignore this step!
Char peppers on grill or over open flame on stovetop. Place in bowl, cover and let steam for 10 minutes. Peel away charred skin, seed and cut into 1/8th strips.
In large, heavy skillet warm 2 T olive oil and brown onions and garlic until golden. Add chicken broth and pepper strips and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes. Let cool for 5-10 minutes.
Note: it’s essential to cool the veggie mixture. Hot liquids create a steam build-up in your blender or processor which, if not cooled, will create a blast of pressure, blowing the hot liquid all over you and your kitchen.
Scrape into blender or food processor, add basil leaves and purée until of a fine consistency. Add half-and-half and salt and pepper to taste.
In same skillet heat remaining olive oil over medium high heat and add shrimp. Sauté until pink and cooked through.
Toss pasta with sauce.
Divide pasta amongst 4 deep, shallow bowls. Distribute shrimp evenly. Sprinkle with pine nuts.
Mangia, always remembering this: life is sweet! Eat and enjoy!
Podcaster Stephanie Davis loves to turn up the music when she cooks and said this recipe pairs perfectly with the song Rock Lobster by the B52s. She advises to crank the music and turn up the flame to char the peppers. Find a wine that gets you dancing, like St. Amant Winery’s Miss Independent Verdelho. It’s a zippy white wine made from the Portuguese grape Verdelho. Make the night memorable by trying something different! ($15/bottle).
Award-winning author Emily Kemme writes about human nature, illuminating the everyday in a way that highlights its brilliance. Follow her on her blog, Feeding the Famished, https://www.facebook.com/EmilyKemme, or on Twitter @EmFeedsYou . Life inspired. Vodka tempered.
Interested in reading Emily’s new award-winning novel, Drinking the Knock Water: A New Age Pilgrimage? Find it on Amazon and in Indie bookstores.
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