Thursday, July 4, 2013

What's on the Menu? Roasted Red Pepper Sauce!

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce 
with Pork Kielbasa and 4-Cheese Raviolis

I know I said I was going to be better at posting...3 weeks ago...I swear I need to get myself on a schedule. The only reason I'm posting now is because it's the fourth of July and I don't have work today! Woohoo! Nothing like still waking up at 8am...ok better 8am than 5:45am like I normally do. So technically I did sleep in. Happy 4th everyone! I'm sitting here, with my coffee basking in the glory of not being at work today. Actually, I still love my job, but any day off is a fantastic day. I get to spike my coffee today too! I can't do that at work...

So about this Roasted Red Pepper sauce, I'm actually quite proud of it. I originally was just going to make an Alfredo sauce and toss in some finely chopped roasted red peppers. Then I thought, "naw, Kendra you can do better than that."

I started this whole thing off because I had a jar of roasted red peppers in my pantry...I really wanted to make a pasta sauce...this is what it lead too. Well that and half a bottle of wine. Trust me, the wine enhances my food making creativity!

Shall we get started? I think, yes!!

Here's what you'll need: (These amount make enough for about 3-4 generous servings or 5-6 smaller not so generous servings)

1/3 of a LARGE red onion, or about 1/2 of a medium one, chopped
3 Roasted Red Peppers, pureed
2 garlic gloves, minced/crushed
some olive oil
8 oz Tomato sauce
1 Tablespoon butter
3/4 teaspoon Basil
3/4 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1 teaspoon Black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup white wine OR water
about 3/4 cup heavy cream
1 lb pork Kielbasa sausage, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 package 4-cheese raviolis

**disclaimer, those amounts for...Basil, Italian Seasoning, Pepper, Salt, heavy cream, wine, butter...kinda of estimates I don't really measure when I'm creating I guess how much I need to make it taste good. I've said this before, start out with small amounts then add. MUCH MUCH MUCH easier to add than to take away!!

First thing you're going to want to do is prep everything. Chop the onion, crush the garlic, puree the roasted red peppers. If you don't you'll quite possibly be running around like a mad scientist in your kitchen. I say mad scientist in the kitchen because it creates a better picture than a chicken with it's head cut off. I'm going to say if the chicken is in your kitchen, it's head is already going to be off and then it's expected. The mad scientist? No that's not expected at all.

Everything all prepped and ready to go? Great! Now let's really get started!!

Take a very large skillet or chef's pan, I used my 12 in Scanpan Pro IQ chef's pan for the sauce, I wanted to make sure I'd have enough room for the sauce, and the Kielbasa once I got to that point.

Anyways, take your chopped onion and crushed garlic and saute it over a medium heat in about 1 Tablespoon of olive oil, give or take. Let the pan heat up for a couple of minutes before tossing in the oil, onion, and garlic. Once it's in there saute for about 5 minutes.

Next up, add in the Tomato sauce, pureed Roasted Red Peppers and the 4 seasonings I listed above. Again start with small amounts of the seasonings, maybe 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of each. Then add more as you taste and go along. Stir this around every couple of minutes for about 10 minutes. During that 10 minutes you can add in the bit of water or wine, as well as that 1 Tablespoon of butter.

While that's going on, chop up your Kielbasa and get it going in another skillet over a medium heat. Add in a bit of wine or oil to keep the pieces from sticking. You're going to cook these until they're heated through and have got a bit of a crispy edge to them on the outside.

The Kielbasa is cooking, so now would be a good time to start to get your water boiling for the raviolis. Got that? Good! Now, grab about 1/2 cup of heavy cream and pour it into the sauce. This will get it to be that nice lighter color. Let it simmer still at that medium heat for about 5 minutes. Then lower the heat and taste it. Does it taste good? Do you need more spices? If so, add some. Also, add in another 1/4 cup of heavy cream after about 10 minutes. Then you just let it simmer at that low heat until everything else is ready.

Once the Kielbasa is done, toss it in with the sauce! Ahhh it looks so good!!! Coat the Kielbasa with the sauce and continue to let it simmer at that low heat. Your water should be boiling sometime soon for the Raviolis. 

Cook those according to package directions and keep tasting your sauce, if it needs anything else go ahead and add it in. More cream? More wine? More spices? Use your best judgement and adjust it to your taste preferences!! Once the ravioli's are done, drain the pasta and transfer them to either a serving dish or directly to a bowl!

How I served mine was to put some Raviolis in a pasta bowl, top it with a generous amount of sauce, then sprinkled some Romano cheese on top. Delicious? Why yes, it was. Here's some other pictures to leave your with. Hope you enjoyed this one!!

Thanks for stopping by! And have a safe and happy 4th!!!
'Til Next Time!!

***Update Feb 2014! If you don't want to use Kielbasa, use some spicy Italian sausage, or which ever type of sausage/meat/protein you'd like!! I made this for my cousins and sister last month and I used some really delicious sausage instead of the Kielbasa, it was awesome!!

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