Serious Eats: Recipes

Dinner Tonight: Spicy Roasted Tomato and Pepper Sauce

[Photograph: Blake Royer]

I'm always experimenting with new ideas when it comes to tomato-based pasta sauce, a seemingly inexhaustible genre of cooking. When summer is at its peak, I love to make this no-cook marinated sauce, basically a bruschetta topping tossed with noodles instead of spooned onto bread. Then I turn to canned tomatoes when summer is over, trying new ideas like a roasted fennel sauce or adding a pinch of saffron.

Now is a time when fresh tomatoes are at the market, but they're not necessarily at their peak. What's one great thing to do with not-quite-perfect vegetables? Roast them. It dismisses any problems with mealy texture and amps up the sweetness.

This recipe for spicy roasted tomato and pepper sauce, from a book called Verdura by Viana la Place, roasts peppers and tomatoes side-by-side, which creates a sauce of smoky sweetness, enhanced by a pinch of hot red pepper flakes. As is my little secret, I added a tablespoon of butter, which works wonders for tomato sauces. A wonderful late-summer/early-fall dish, for days when there is a slight crispness to the air.

About the author: Blake Royer founded The Paupered Chef with Nick Kindelsperger, where he writes about food and occasional travels. After a year in Estonia, he's now living in Chicago.

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