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Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

Elevate your pasta night with this luxuriously creamy roasted red pepper pasta!

Tender pasta is tossed in a velvety sauce made from sweet, smoky roasted red peppers blended with garlic, shallots, and heavy cream.

Serving of penne pasta with pureed roasted red peppers served on a white plate.
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This dish is a breeze to prepare, making it perfect for busy weeknights when you’re craving something a little special. Jarred roasted red peppers make this recipe quick and convenient.

It’s a restaurant-quality meal you can easily make at home! 

Why You’ll Love This Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

Crowd-Pleasing Taste: Roasted red pepper pasta has a little something for everyone. Plus, you can easily tweak the recipe to suit a wide range of tastes and dietary needs. 

Vibrant Color: Everyone will appreciate the deep red hue of the roasted peppers. Paired with the creamy sauce, it’s a visually stunning and appetizing dish. 

Minimal Cleanup: With just a few key steps and a blender, this recipe is a breeze. It definitely minimizes the number of dishes, making cleanup super simple.

Roasted red peppers in a baking sheet.

Ingredients

  • Rigatoni or Penne Pasta: Short and sturdy, these are the ideal choices for this recipe.
  • Large Red Bell Peppers: Fire-roasted until tender and smoky-sweet, these are the backbone of the dish. 
  • Olive Oil: For sauteing the aromatics and bringing all the flavors together. 
  • Onion & Garlic: The aforementioned aromatics. 
  • Heavy Cream: The secret ingredient for transforming the peppers into a sinfully creamy, velvet-like sauce. 
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese: Savory, salty, and satisfying, Parmesan is the perfect finishing touch. 
  • Red Pepper Flakes: Add just a dash to spice things up. 
  • Fresh Basil: These bright, peppery ribbons will dial up the pasta’s flavor. They’re the ideal garnish for this dish. 
  • Salt & Pepper: Season well to suit your tastes.
Penne pasta tossed in skillet pan with roasted red peppers puree.

How to Make Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

This recipe requires fewer than ten steps. 

1. Roast. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the peppers on a baking sheet and roast them for 25 to 30 minutes, turning occasionally. 

2. Chop. Transfer the peppers to a bowl. Cover the bowl, and let the peppers steam for 10 minutes. Finally, peel off their skins, remove the seeds, and roughly chop them. 

3. Cook. Cook the pasta according to the package directions for al dente. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water before draining. 

4. Saute. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and saute for about 5 minutes. Then, stir in the garlic and cook for another minute. 

5. Blend. Add the roasted peppers, onion, and garlic to a blender. Puree until smooth. 

6. Simmer. Pour the red pepper sauce back into the skillet. Stir in the heavy cream, 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water, and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper, and simmer for 5 minutes until slightly thickened. 

7. Toss. Add the cooked pasta and Parmesan to the skillet. Toss to coat, adding more pasta water as needed to thin the sauce. 

8. Serve. Serve the pasta hot, garnished with fresh basil and extra Parmesan. Enjoy! 

Serving of roasted red pepper pasta in a white plate garnished with fresh basil leaves.

Tips for the Best Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

The key to getting this pasta just right is roasting the peppers properly. Keep roasting them until the skins are well charred. Doing so intensifies the flavor and makes them easier to peel. 

Here are a few other tips: 

  • Amp up the seasoning. I once read that “your pasta water should taste almost as good as the pasta itself.” When boiling pasta, I add garlic and onion powders, a little thyme, oregano, etc.
  • The shorter, the better. Shorter pasta is typically thicker and sturdier than noodle-type pasta. It holds up better in the sauce and soaks up flavors better. 
  • Don’t overcook! Remember, you only need to cook it al dente. Anything more will make it too mushy once it soaks up the sauce. 
  • Avoid pre-grated cheese. It contains an anti-caking agent that prevents it from melting into the sauce. Grate the cheese yourself from a fresh block. 
  • Have fun with add-ins. You can add cooked shredded chicken, Italian sausage, or another protein. Veggies like sauteed mushrooms, spinach, and kale work well, too. 
  • Save yourself some time. I don’t recommend using store-bought fire-roasted peppers. However, it’s an option if you’re in a hurry or can’t find fresh peppers. Use a high-quality brand for the best taste. 
Roasted red pepper pasta tossed in cast iron skillet pan.

What to Serve with Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

Pair your pasta with quick, easy sides, such as: 

How to Store

You shouldn’t freeze roasted red pepper pasta, but you can store leftovers for a few days.

To Store: Transfer the fully-cooled pasta to an air-tight container. Refrigerate for up to 4 days. 

To Reheat: Microwave individual portions for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until warm. Reheat all the leftovers at once on the stove over medium heat. If the sauce is too dry, add a splash of milk or water.

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

Course: Main CourseCuisine: American
Servings

8

servings
Prep time

45

minutes
Cooking time

32

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minutes
Calories

328

kcal

This easy roasted red pepper pasta will make you feel like a pro chef! It’s creamy, cheesy, and tastes like something you get at a fine restaurant.

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces rigatoni or penne pasta

  • 2 large red bell peppers

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, diced

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the whole red peppers on a baking sheet. Roast for 25-30 minutes, turning occasionally, until the skins are charred.
  • Transfer the roasted peppers to a bowl. Cover and let steam for 10 minutes. Peel off the skins, remove seeds, and roughly chop.
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water before draining.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more.
  • Transfer the sautéed onion and garlic to a blender with the roasted red peppers. Puree until smooth.
  • Pour the red pepper sauce back into the skillet. Stir in the heavy cream, 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water, red pepper flakes, and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes until slightly thickened.
  • Add cooked pasta and parmesan to the skillet and toss to coat. Add more pasta water as needed to reach the desired consistency.
  • Serve the pasta hot, garnished with fresh basil and extra Parmesan.

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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