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Kitchen Mailbox: Spices and flavors blend deliciously in red pepper sauce

Thursday, July 06, 2000

Sweet red peppers, garlic, onions and olive oil -- activates your taste buds, right? These and other delectable ingredients make up today's recipe -- Fettuccine with Red Pepper and Basil Sauce.

You'll notice that the spices called for pack hefty flavors, but we found not one spice overpowers the dish -- they all come together to make this sauce outstanding.

One more note: The recipe calls for a pinch of red pepper flakes -- we found that to be enough, but if you like more pizzazz in your sauce, add a few more flakes.

Lori Mozenter of Fox Chapel requested a recipe for tortellini in a red pepper sauce. Even though we found the fettuccine a perfect partner to this sauce, tortellini or any pasta would work.

Fettuccine With Red Pepper and Basil Sauce was sent by Catherine Susko of Osborne. Susko tells us there's a good recipe for red pepper sauce in Marcella Hazan's "More Classic Italian Cooking," where you just saute pepper pieces with basil in olive oil. Sorry to say, we didn't try this version.

Fettuccine with Red Pepper and Basil Sauce

2 large garlic cloves
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Pinch of dried hot red pepper flakes (or more)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
Fresh lemon juice to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 pound fettucine
3 red bell peppers sliced thin (about 3 cups)
Fresh grated Parmesan cheese

In a saute pan cook the garlic, onion, red pepper flakes and thyme in oil over moderately low heat, stirring, until the onion is softened; add the bell peppers and the broth and simmer the mixture, covered, for 10 minutes or until the peppers are very soft.

In a food processor, puree the mixture until it is smooth, return it to the saute pan and swirl in the butter. Stir in the basil and lemon juice. Serves about 4.


Audrey Patterson of the North Side would like a recipe for salt-free bread. Can anyone help?

If you want to answer a recipe request from a reader or are looking for a recipe yourself, please write to Kitchen Mailbox, c/o Arlene Burnett, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh 15222, or e-mail to aburnett@post-gazette.com. Please include a name, neighborhood and a daytime phone number on all correspondence.


I sympathize with Ellen Parkes of Shadyside who wrote to express her displeasure with the changes made at the former Food Gallery in Shadyside. Similar changes have been made to the former Food Gallery in O'Hara. It's now a Community Supermarket, but it's obvious that the store owner has some connection to Giant Eagle, as many of the national brands have been replaced with items bearing the Giant Eagle label. Some items as ordinary as Glad bags are not available.

A shopper friend expressed his regret over the disappearance of Fikes dairy products. Gone are my dogs' favorite treats! We miss the Food Gallery, but we'll stick with its successor and hope that the Giant Eagle label disappears and our old favorites return.

Mary Russell

I wish to add to Ms. Parkes' letter of June 29, in the "Food" section. I have found that when food products are produced in several sizes, one of those sizes disappears from the Giant Eagle shelves. In two cases, I telephoned the makers and was assured that the products were still made in the size I needed. In one of the two cases, the manager told me the company was not making the product in the size I wanted.

The result, of course, is that I do my shopping elsewhere.

Rose Thompson

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