The Recipes

Vegetable Ragout with Red Pepper Coulis

I sound fancy, don't I?  Don't worry.  It's easier than the pretentious-sounding name.

Vegetable Ragout with Red Pepper Coulis


Ingredients:

- 2 roma tomatoes, cut into 1/2-in. pieces
- 1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1/2-in. pieces
- 1/2 yellow squash, cut into 1/2-in. pieces
- 1/2 zucchini, cut into 1/2-in. pieces
- 1/4 c. kalmata olives, cut in half
- fresh basil
- 2 T. tomato paste
- fresh parsley, chopped
- pinch crushed red pepper
- 1 c. chicken or vegetable stock
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 T. butter
- 1 T. cornstarch
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1/4 c. grits prepared according to directions
- handful peccorino romano cheese
- salt
- pepper
- olive oil

Start by placing the bell pepper in the oven set at broil and blistering it on all sides.  If you keep the oven door cracked, you'll let some of the steam escape.  When the pepper is dark and blistered on all sides, transfer it to a bowl and cover it tightly with plastic wrap.  When it is cool enough to handle, remove the skin, ribs and seeds, and chop the pepper into large chunks.

In a small saucepan, whisk the cornstarch and stock together.  Add the butter and one garlic clove and bring to a simmer.  Season with salt and pepper, and add in the roasted bell pepper.  Allow it to simmer on low for 30 minutes.  Transfer the mixture to a blender and blend until smooth.

Start the water heating for your polenta.  Cook it to instructions; usually you will need 3-4 times as much water as you will polenta.

To make the ragu, heat 2 T. of olive oil in a skillet.  Add the onion and carrot and season with salt; cook for 7-8 minutes.  Add the garlic, zucchini, squash and tomato.   Add the crushed red pepper and cook for 10 more minutes.  Add in the fresh parsley and tomato paste; stir to combine and allow it to cook for 8-10 more minutes.

Plate the polenta and top with the ragout.  Drizzle the red pepper coulis around the dish and top with the fresh basil.