Fettuccine with Red Pepper and Basil Sauce

by CSWSmovie

I’ve long been on the lookout for a great red bell pepper pasta sauce  – I love the sweetness that bell peppers have, and I wanted to venture out from the normal tomato base. Most recipes were made delicious by the use of cream, but being January and all a pasta + cream dish didn’t really sound like the best idea.

The below version though is, though, pretty fantastic and also cream-free. The flavor comes from a lot of garlic, a hit of red pepper flakes, and the important use of fresh basil and good quality parmesan cheese at the end. The sweetness of the bell peppers and basil contrasts really well with the chili heat. If you do desire some creaminess to the sauce (and I don’t blame you) stir in some 2% (or whole milk) at the end – I did this once when I added a little too many chili flakes by accident, and the end result was rewarding.

red pepper sauce


*Note – the above picture of the finished suace has an instagram filter on it, and looks to have a deeper red/orange color to it than it did in real life. Don’t be alarmed if your sauce has a lighter color.

Fettuccine with Red Pepper and Basil Sauce

Adapted from Gourmet – serves 4 (also good for leftovers)

  • 4-5 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large shallots, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon of dried hot red pepper flakes (if adding milk or cream at the end, increase to 1/2 teaspoon to maintain some kick)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried italian seasoning (or a mix of dried basil, oregano, whatever you like in your pasta sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 red bell peppers, sliced thin (about 4 cups)
  • 2/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • fresh lemon juice to taste
  • 1 pound fettuccine
  • freshly grated Parmesan as an accompaniment

In your pot/pan of choice, heat the olive oil until shimmering and then add your shallots. Once translucent add the garlic, the red pepper flakes, italian seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste in the oil over moderately low heat (make sure garlic doesn’t brown.) Add the bell peppers and the broth, and simmer the mixture, covered, for 10 minutes, or until the peppers are very soft. In a blender purée the mixture until it is smooth, return it to the skillet, and swirl in the butter. (Alternately, use an immersion blender.) Stir in the basil, the lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste and keep the sauce warm.

In a kettle of boiling salted water cook the fettuccine until it is al dente, drain it well, and transfer it to a serving bowl. Add the sauce, toss the pasta well, and serve it with a healthy dose of  Parmesan.