Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Sauce

red pepper and tomato sauceYou can walk into any grocery store and see jars and jars of this product. Some have a high sugar content, while others are lighter on the sweetness. Either way, you’ll need it to complete that pasta dish you’re making. If a picture of spaghetti sauce came to mind, then you know what I’m talking about. I always wanted to make my own sauce for pasta night (which happens frequently in my home), but I thought it would be too time consuming. Turns out, I was wrong. Making your own sauce does not take a large portion out of your day, and it can be more delicious than anything you pull off a supermarket shelf. Most importantly, it can add some serious health benefits to an otherwise average meal. For example, this red pepper and tomato sauce has one mean punch when it comes to supporting your vision. Red peppers, which are the healthiest of the colorful bell pepper bunch, are rich in lutein, zeaxanthin and vitamin C. This can help keep your vision sharp and possibly ward off age-related macular degeneration. A red pepper also contains 30 different antioxidants, making it one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables you can eat. Oh, and did I mention that they’re low in calories?

And just when you think you can’t take the health benefits of this sauce any higher, you add tomatoes to the list. According to studies, certain components of tomatoes could protect against cancer. Now that you know how easy and nutritious making your own sauce can be, there’s no need to walk the grocery aisles searching for the perfect addition to your pasta. It’s already right there in your kitchen.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 pounds plum tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon lightly dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Whole grain pasta

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Cut tomatoes in half and place them on baking sheet, cut side up. Sprinkle lightly with salt.
  3. Add the red pepper to the pan and roast for 45 minutes.
  4. Remove tomatoes and pepper from the oven. Place the pepper in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let it cool for 20 minutes. Remove the stem and seeds and place the pepper in a food processor along with tomatoes.
  5. Add remaining ingredients and puree until smooth.
  6. Transfer sauce to a pan and place on medium heat until warm.
  7. Serve over whole grain noodles and enjoy.