Thursday, February 4, 2010

olive and roasted red pepper pasta sauce

Way back in the fridge from having people over a couple weeks ago, we had some spicy olive tapenade (mix of mostly nicoise and kalamata olives, capers, garlic, ground red pepper, lemon juice, lots of black pepper) and roasted red pepper coulis. Not technically a coulis, I don't think, but that's what I've always called this stuff: roasted/peeled red peppers, garlic, green onions, parsley, sherry vinegar, s&p all blended together and then olive oil slowly drizzled into the blender to make a thick vinaigrette that somehow stays emulsified for days and weeks--good for pumping up (and, in a squirt bottle, making colorful designs on top of) dull winter veggie soups.

So: throw 1/4c pine nuts, very coarsely chopped, into a dry saucepan to toast for a while. Then chop/mash a couple of anchovy filets (mine were packed in olive oil and I didn't rinse them), and mix them in with the nuts and briefly cook till umamtastic. Next, 1/3-1/2c of tapenade, and a cup or so of non-oaky dry white wine (I used a cheap Soave). Reduce by about half, then add maybe 1/4c of the coulis, simmer for a couple minutes, finish (off heat) with 1T or so of butter, and toss with pasta right out of the pot. Seasonings should be fine, but check just in case. This went great with fresh herb fettuccine from our local pasta whore by way of The Ladies.