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When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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December 01, 2001

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

from SimplyRecipes.com (which explained this is a Spanish-inspired recipe)
Serves 3-4

Ingredients (this is half the original recipe)
1-1/2 T oil
1/2 onion (or whole shallot)
2 clove garlic
1-1/2 tsp fresh sage or 1/2 tsp dried sage
1 tsp anchovy paste (or 2 or 3 anchovies)
1 T tomato paste
3/4 c. red wine
2 c. roasted red peppers
1/8 tsp smoked paprika
pinch cayenne
salt to taste

NOTE:  I used a 15.5 oz. jar of peppers packed in water, not vinegar.  It was Giuliano brand and I found it at Big Lots!  But I looked on line and in addition to that brand, there is Mezzetta brand and I think I've seen that brand in Kroger or World Market or somewhere.

Rinse peppers if packed in vinegar.  Saute onion in oil til softened, sprinkle w/salt, add garlic and sage, saute a minute more.  Add the anchovy/anchovy paste, stir in and cook.  Stir in tomato paste and stir and cook 2-3 minutes.

Add wine, turn heat up and boil down by half.  Stir in peppers and reduce heat,  Simmer for about 20 minutes (I broke up the big pieces of pepper now and then to see if they were getting softer).  Puree sauce in blender or use a stick blender.  Return to pan and add paprika and cayenne and let simmer another 10 minutes or so.  Spoon the desired amount over spaghetti noodles and toss til noodles are well coated.  Serve with grated cheese.

If you are cooking for one, there should be plenty of sauce to freeze for another 2 or 3 meals.

NOTES:  I've made this twice now and the second time was better, I think mainly because I let it cook longer.  Or maybe I put in too little wine the first time.  Anyway, with the second batch, it got a nice dark burgundy color and was more deeply flavored than the first time.  The seasonings are a matter of personal taste.  I can't tolerate too spicy, hence the "pinch" of cayenne.  But do your thing!

Sept - 2017 And, now I've made it a third time (and truly don't remember ever having made it before!) and it was really good.  This time I definitely let it cook a total of at least 40 minutes (counting the reduction time) and used my blender.  What I really liked about it in addition to the unique flavor was that it really coated the spaghetti - it was nice and thick and very different from the usual Italian tomato sauce.

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