Because it's made by throwing all of the ingredients into the blender, this is the ultimate fast sauce; whizzing in the olive oil gives it an ultracreamy, velvety texture. Be sure to use sweet roasted red peppers from the deli case instead of the ones packed in a jar, which can be bitter.
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3/4 pound gemelli
2 whole roasted red peppers from the deli counter (6 ounces)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 oil-packed sun-dried tomato halves, drained
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 garlic clove
9 large basil leaves
freshly ground pepper
1/2 pound salted fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch dice
How to Make It
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the gemelli and cook until al dente. Drain the gemelli.
Meanwhile, in a blender, puree the roasted red peppers with the olive oil, sun-dried tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic and 3 basil leaves until smooth. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.
Scrape the sauce into a large bowl and toss with the pasta until well coated. Tear the remaining 6 basil leaves into the pasta and add the mozzarella. Toss the mozzarella, basil and pasta and serve warm or at room temperature.
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