End-of-summer vegetable pasta sauce (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian)

Here’s a sauce inspired by what was at the farmers’ market: fresh corn, mild green Spanish frying peppers, fresh regular and cherry tomatoes, and red onion. Browning the corn kernels and peppers a little first added a bit of a smokiness. Microwaving the ears of corn in their husks for a minute or two makes it easy to remove their silks. The surprise ingredient: several tablespoons of red lentils melt into the sauce to add body without affecting the flavor. Great over pasta, this sauce also works over rice, potatoes, polenta, or other vegetables.

Ingredients
  • ears of corn, shucked
  • olive oil
  • Spanish frying peppers (such as Padrón or Guindilla), or sweet peppers, diced
  • red onion, chopped
  • tomatoes, chopped
  • cherry tomatoes, halved
  • red lentils, rinsed (optional)
  • dry white wine
  • tomato paste (optional)
  • salt and pepper
Method
  1. Cut the ears of corn in half crosswise. Put the cut end down on the cutting board and use a sharp knife to cut the kernels from the cobs. Compost the cobs and reserve the kernels.
  2. Warm the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the corn kernels and peppers and cook, without stirring, for a minute or two until starting to brown, then stir and cook for another minute. Stir in the onion and cook until softened. Stir in all of the tomatoes, lower the heat to medium, cover, and cook until the tomatoes soften and give up their juices. Stir in the red lentils and the wine. Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat to medium-low and cook, covered, until the lentils blend into the sauce. Add tomato paste and season to taste with salt and pepper.
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