Makes about 1 1/2 cups
This rust-colored pepper sauce is sometimes fiery, sometimes not, though it’s generally made with some kind of hot chile. This version is thickened with breadcrumbs, and a roasted red bell pepper adds flavor and color.
2 slices day-old country-style bread (not sweetened)
2 tablespoons water
5 to 6 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
Large pinch of salt
1 large red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 dried hot red pepper, ground, or about 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/3 to 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
1. Cut bread into half-inch cubes or make rough crumbs in a food processor; there should be about 1 cup lightly packed. Sprinkle the bread with the water.
2. Combine garlic, peppers, and bread in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to mix, but be careful not to overprocess. Add about half the oil and drizzle the rest in gradually, pulsing to mix.
3. If you’re using a mortar and pestle, add the oil as for a mayonnaise, a little at a time, increasing the amount of oil as the sauce emulsifies. If you’re using a food processor, add about half the oil and drizzle the rest in, pulsing to mix.
4. Season to taste with salt and pepper. The sauce will not absorb the oil completely. It should be thick and still have some texture with little bits of pepper and bread. Serve immediately, or cover and let stand at room temper- ature until ready to serve.