My question: Why doesn’t anyone ever make roasted pepper sauces with green peppers rather than red ones? I found my answer after trying it myself. Turns out, it’s likely because the sauce will end up looking something like this.
I can’t defend that plate above for its looks. It’s certainly nowhere near as eye-catching as you’d find its saucy red counterpart. But bear with me. Once you take a bite, I can assure you’ll want to keep the twirling motion going with that fork held in your hand. And that’s what counts. This blog favors flavor over beauty, and seasonal ingredients over anything else. ‘Tis the season for green peppers, so why wait to make a sauce? Ya feelin’ me?
Early summer means peppers are sporting green outfits from head to toe across each pepper-ridden row in the garden. The color change won’t come until later in the season. It’s a result of their chlorophyll beginning to break down as the peppers mature.
Recently, I’ve been helping out a family with their Saturday farmer’s markets. Best part of the gig is that they kindly send me home with a refrigerator’s worth of produce. In this situation, you don’t complain that there are only green peppers for the taking. Rather, you rejoice that you’re getting to take home a basket full of them.
With the basket acquired from this past weekend, I was determined to roast up a sauce, regardless of whatever color it would yield Hence, the recipe below. Green peppers aren’t quite as sweet as the red ones, which is why coconut milk works so well here. It adds a touch of sweetness and also generates a rather creamy, vegan sauce. Feel free to bring back some vibrant green color to the plate with parsley. However, the hint of coconut flavor in the sauce pairs particularly well with basil, as suggested below.
Side note: I added some hot sauce, and turned a batch of this into a dip for the 4th of July. Served up with tortilla chips, it went over really well. Just another option.
- -3 large bell peppers
- -3 Tbsp. walnuts, toasted
- -2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- -3 cloves garlic, sliced
- -1/2 large onion, diced
- -3/4 tsp. red chili pepper flakes
- -2 Tbsp. tomato paste
- -1/2 cup light coconut milk
- -Salt and pepper, to taste
- -1/3 cup basil, chopped
- -13.5 oz. whole wheat pasta
- Remove tops of peppers. Cut in half and discard seeds and membranes. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil and place peppers on top, skin side face up. Broil for 20 minutes, or until skins are blackened and charcoaly. Flip, and broil for another 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven and place in a large Ziploc bag. Let sit for 10 minutes, then remove and peel skins off the pepper halves. (Should remove easily.)
- Place peppers and toasted walnuts in a food process, and blend until smooth.
- Prepare pasta according to package instructions.
- In large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium-high. Add garlic and onion, and saute for 2 minutes, then add red chili pepper flakes. Continue to saute until onions are translucent. Stir in tomato paste, coconut milk and roasted pepper puree. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. (Note: You want the sauce to be a bit salty and spicy on its own, as it will be going over unseasoned pasta.)
- Bring to a low simmer and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Toss with pasta, and serve topped with freshly chopped basil.