I’m a sucker for a good homemade pasta sauce. Before I ever attempted to make sauce from scratch, I felt intimidated and thought it was a lot of unnecessary work when I could easily open a jar. But once I gave it a try, I realized that there are two reasons I prefer to make my own sauce: I can make it exactly to my liking and it’s far healthier than the jarred stuff. It really does not require much work, just a little patience. This flavorful, healthy Roasted Red Pepper Sauce is worth the simple effort.
When I first met Craig, we dated long-distance while I was living in San Diego and he was on the farm in Illinois. Everyone at my office referred to him as “the farmer.” I don’t think many of my co-workers knew his actual name. When it was time for me to say goodbye to San Diego and move to Illinois, my friend, Beth, organized a country-themed farewell party. There, my co-workers Carolyn, Pam, and Kim gave me some parting gifts for my new life with the farmer: gardening gloves and one of The Pioneer Woman cookbooks.
At the time, I thought the gardening gloves would never get much use. But both gifts have been well-utilized. I get a little better at gardening each year, though I’ve still got a long ways to go. And since I’ve long read The Pioneer Woman’s blog and watched her show on the Food Network, I’ve happily cooked from her cookbook.
One of my favorite Pioneer Woman recipes is her Quick and Easy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta. If you like the slightly sweet yet smoky flavor of roasted red peppers, this sauce is absolutely to die for.
The last time I went to Trader Joe’s, I picked up a bag of cauliflower gnocchi from the freezer aisle which I’ve been anxious to try. So last night I decided to make a roasted red pepper sauce – inspired by The Pioneer Woman’s recipe, but slimmed down to 0 Weight Watchers points – to serve with the cauliflower gnocchi. Oh my gosh you guys, it’s so good!
The sauce is versatile so you can put it on many things! Pasta, zoodles, cauliflower gnocchi, chicken breast, and more. While I greatly enjoyed the cauliflower gnocchi, Craig was less enamored. But he gave the sauce recipe two thumbs up. He even requested we have leftover sauce again tonight with Italian sausage and regular pasta. (I might make myself zoodles, but still indulge with Italian sausage.)
So here’s how I made it. First, add two tablespoons of nonfat chicken stock, onions, and garlic to a large skillet and heat over medium. Cook for five minutes or until onions and garlic have softened. Add more stock to the pan as needed. You don’t want the pan to be dry. Roughly chop roasted red peppers and then add them to the pan with 2 more tbsp of broth. Saute for 5 minutes.
Remove skillet from heat and add contents to a blender or food processor, and add 1 cup of chicken stock, 1/2 tsp of salt, crushed red pepper, and oregano.
Place lid on and puree until smooth. You may need to stop and scrape the sides of the blender to get all the veggies blended. Sauce will have some texture but will be relatively smooth and not chunky.
Add sauce back to pan and warm it on low. In a medium sized bowl, combine 1/4 cup of strained nonfat Greek yogurt with 1/4 cup of chicken stock and 1/4 tsp of salt. Whisk well.
Add one tablespoon of warm sauce to yogurt mixture, and whisk. Repeat this at least 5 more times or until yogurt/red pepper mixture is well incorporated.
Add yogurt mixture to pan and heat until warm. Add chopped basil if desired. Serve over pasta, zoodles, cauliflower gnocchi, chicken, or as desired.
Roasted Red Pepper Sauce Recipe