About 3 weeks ago, I was at Kroger, and saw red bell peppers on special, 2 for a dollar. There was no way I could pass that up! I promptly bought 4 of the biggest ones I could find, and was already dreaming of what I would make with them...a roasted red pepper cream sauce....ahhh! (The one rouge pepper is from the garden).
This was the first time I'd made a sauce with roasted peppers, but I've had it before in restaurants. I read through a few recipes online, and compiled this version after seeing similarities of ingredients (sour cream, lemon, parsley, etc.)
You can grill the shrimp ahead of time, and stash them in the fridge. And you can make the sauce ahead of time too...just reheat it later on. All you have to do come dinner time is drop the pasta.
Fettuccine with Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce and Grilled Shrimp
4 large red bell peppers, cut in half, and cleaned free of membrane and seeds
1 cup reduced fat sour cream (you are not allowed to use fat-free...don't do it!)
Juice and zest of one lemon
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt to taste
1 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined, and patted dry
2 teaspoons olive oil
salt and black pepper
1 pound fettuccine pasta (or pasta of choice)
Line a sheet pan with a sheet of aluminum foil. Move one of your oven racks so your sheet pan is 4 inches away from the heating element (this will probably be the highest or second highest position). Preheat the broiler ("high" if you have that option).
Place the peppers skin-side down on the sheet pan. (Yes, I know, I forgot to use foil).
When the broiler is ready, put the peppers in the oven and let them char until the skins are black and blistered. Yes...you really do want them burnt, like this...
Stack the peppers up, fold the foil over, seal tightly, and let steam for 10 minutes. This will help the skins peel off.
You can gather up the rest of the ingredients while you're waiting...the lemon juice was camera shy...sorry.
After 10 minutes, open up the foil, and let the peppers cool until you can handle them.
To peel the peppers, just pull the skin away gently....it should come right off. Discard the skins.
As you're peeling, drop the peppers into a blender. Then blend the peppers until they're nice and smooth.
Now that the peppers are pureed, (sounds like a tongue twister, doesn't it?), add the sour cream, lemon juice and zest, parsley, salt, and cayenne pepper. I only used 1/8 of a teaspoon, since I have children with sensitive tongues.
Now blend everything together again until fully incorporated. Taste and adjust the seasonings...a tad more lemon juice and salt if you'd like (I did :-). If you like a thinner sauce, you can add 1/4 cup cream or half-and-half (don't use milk...it won't give the sauce a nice creamy texture).
Set the sauce aside and heat your outdoor grill or indoor grill pan to medium. If you don't care for shrimp, fell free to substitute chicken, scallops, pork...whatever!
Season the shrimp with some oil olive, salt, and pepper, and grill until tender and opaque.
It will only take a couple of minutes. Remember that any seafood will continue to cook after you take it off, so you can under cook the shrimp just a hair, and it will finish cooking on the plate.
While the shrimp are cooking, drop your pasta in a large pot of salted, boiling water, and cook according to the package directions.
Man...I am ready to eat! Pile up a nice serving of pasta, top with a few spoonfuls of the roasted pepper sauce, and add the shrimp.
And if you've got it, a grating of parmigiano-reggiano cheese, or parmesan cheese is really, really good.
Oh...I could eat this EVERY DAY. Seriously...I made noises at the dinner table that were not normal.
In fact, I was so in love with this sauce, I went out, bought 4 more red bell peppers, and made some more sauce the following week. Then I made my Easy Eggplant Parmesan and served it with the roasted pepper sauce instead of marinara sauce. It was awesome...David told me he liked it too :-). See?If you need to die temporarily and pretend you're in heaven...you need to make this dish!
God Bless your table tonight!