Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pepperoni Pasta Sauce

I have never watched Top Chef in my life, but maybe I should if yummy recipes like this are on there all the time!

This recipe intrigued me when I first saw it...I stared at the picture trying to see the bits of pepperoni in the sauce, but alas, there were none.  They were blended into this perfect pasta sauce!  You get the wonderful spicy flavors of the pepperoni into a dish that would otherwise be just "a normal" pasta sauce recipe.  It really does give the sauce a great bite.  It was wonderful over some tortellini.  Enjoy :)

Pepperoni Pasta Sauce
From:  Cassie Craves

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, cut into small dice
5 medium cloves garlic, cut into very thin slices
1 pound pepperoni, cut into thin slices
1 teaspoon fennel seed, toasted
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
14 ounces canned Italian tomatoes, chopped, with their juices
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 fresh bay leaf

1. Toast the fennel seed in a small dry skillet over medium heat, shaking the skillet often to keep the seeds from burning. They will become fragrant and slightly darker in color.

2. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, until the oil simmers. Add the onion and garlic; cook for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring often, until they are golden and fragrant.

3. Stir in the pepperoni; cook for about 5 minutes, until fragrant and evenly coated, then add the toasted fennel seed and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute, stirring.

4. Add the tomatoes and their juices, the broth, and the bay leaf; stir to incorporate. Once the mixture starts to bubble at the edges, cover and cook for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. The pepperoni slices will be soft, with a deeper color. Remove from the heat.

5. Working in batches as needed, transfer to a food processor or a high-powered blender (including the bay leaf). Puree until smooth. Serve with pasta. 

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