Spanish Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Sauce

I really fell in love with Spanish food while I was in Seville. I can now fully understand why tapas restaurants took over the foodie scene a few years back. Loads of delicious flavors in little bites of simply prepared foods.

As soon as we landed I immediately found a recipe for Spanish tortilla and sangria and tried them both. The tortilla was spot on perfection. The sangria … needs work.

This week our friend Galina came over for dinner. She is a vegetarian and so I like to find awesome vegetarian dishes for her that aren’t pasta with vegetable medley. Which, incidentally, seems to be the only thing restaurants (American places particularly) can come up with when asked for a vegetarian option. Come people! Explore some!

But I digress.

I thought that a combination Spanish tortilla/fritatta would be perfect to try. She is allergic to onions and since half of a true tortilla is onion I subbed in mushrooms and asparagus so that it wasn’t one giant potato and egg cake.

But I can’t just serve that with a green salad and call it good! I need to make a sauce! Like a tomato jam, but with some Spanish flavors. I wasn’t comfortable going with a jar because of her allergy, so I made something up. A roasted red pepper and tomato sauce.

It was delicious! By the end of the meal we were spreading it on our bread and heaping it over the salad.

After she left I hurriedly wrote down everything I had done and a rough list of ingredients. Then I decided I had to make it again, just to be sure. Mark was willing to be a taster again. Just for the sake of accuracy. It was just as delicious the second time! Here is the recipe.

Spanish Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Sauce

  • 2 red bell peppers
  •  1 yellow bell pepper
  • 500g or 2 pints of cherry tomatoes
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 1/2 tsp savory
  • a very small pinch of saffron
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar
  • scant 1/4 c orange juice
  • good quality olive oil

 

In a foil-lined pan with the oven on broil start roasting the bell peppers. Wrap the cloves of garlic in foil after drizzling them with olive oil and add those to the pan with the peppers. Check on the peppers about every 5 minutes and turn them as they start to blister. (If you have a gas stove you can roast the peppers over the burner flame instead.)

Add the tomatoes to the pan after turning the peppers twice and drizzle olive oil over the tomatoes. Roast, checking on them and rotating the peppers every 5 minutes.img_4278

Once the peppers are nicely blackened, like in the picture above, put them into a paper bag and roll it up. Let them cool in the bag. Let the tomatoes cool in the pan.

After they are cool enough to touch, peel the skin off the peppers and tomatoes.

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Chop the peppers up into a medium dice.

Heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil a medium sized sauce pan over medium heat. Squish the garlic into the warm oil and then add the tomatoes and the chopped up peppers.  Add the white wine and give them a good stir to combine.

Bring it to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Add in the sprigs of thyme, savory, saffron, and bay leaf. Put a lid on it and simmer for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally and crush the tomatoes against the side of the pan with the back of a spoon.

After 45 minutes, add the balsamic vinegar and the orange juice, season with salt and pepper to taste, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Serve over a Spanish tortilla with a green salad or use it to top some toasted baguette slices.

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