This is a pretty healthy recipe, and can be used as a sauce for pasta or for meats. I was looking for a pasta sauce with chunky bits of roasted peppers just like I had eaten in an Italian restaurant a few weeks back, but could not find one anywhere so I sort of made this up as I went along.
My secret ingredient I always seem to use in tomato based sauces is tomato ketchup. It sounds a bit strange, but I have it on good authority that many top chefs use it. It adds a certain richness to the sauce, and also the sweetness just takes away the bitterness of the tomatoes without any sugar.
Of course, the basic tomato part of this sauce can be modified in all sorts of ways if you want to leave out the roasted peppers. I sometimes add in some bacon or pancetta, tinned tuna, prawns, chillies, curry powder, mushrooms, and various other vegetables.
- 1 large red pepper
- 1 large yellow pepper
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tin tomatoes (400 g)
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme / dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon tomato ketchup
- Salt and pepper
Chop the onions and garlic finely. Heat the olive oil in a pan, and fry the onions and garlic until soft (I keep the lid on to keep them moist by sweating a bit). Now add in the tinned tomatoes, tomato ketchup and herbs. Stir around, then replace the lid and simmer gently for about 20 minutes.
Remove the lid and increase the heat to thicken up the sauce a bit, you can do this for as long as you have time for - the longer it is the richer the sauce. Don't boil it too hard though as you will lose some of the flavours this way I think.
Roughly chop up the roasted peppers, stir into the sauce to heat through. Season with salt and pepper, and ketchup, as needed. Serve over some freshly cooked pasta.
This should be enough for 3 or 4 portions of pasta and is great with some parmesan cheese on the top.