Roasted Red Pepper Pesto with Penne Pasta

Roasted Red Pepper Pesto

Oh my gosh, this is the absolute flavor of flavors when it comes to red peppers! Roasted red peppers provide this insane flavor of smokey and sweet that is totally irresistible. If you have the time you can roast your own peppers or you can just purchase good quality jarred roasted red peppers, usually found in Italian specialty stores.

Today, I used the Italian specialty store jarred roasted red peppers from Chelsea Market in NYC. I love this store! I can and have spent a lot of time there just admiring the beautiful Italian pastas, salami’s, and Italian foods direct from Italy. It just brings me back to when I was there, in Italy. All of the ingredients, as with most European countries is fresh, organic and delicious. No need for a chemist to translate what you are eating.

This recipe is so easy and quick to prepare and can be served either hot or cold. Once introduced to your family or friends, you will be serving this more often than you ever imagined. It adds much more punch than just a plain red sauce, so if you wanted to add some meatballs to this I am sure it would be a home run!

Roasted Red Pepper Pesto with Penne

Pasta for 2

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup roasted red pepper, chopped
  • 12 whole almonds, unsalted
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 large clove garlic, smashed
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • dash of fresh ground pepper
  • 1/8 cup parmigiano reggiano cheese, grated
  • fresh parsley for garnish


In a stock pot bring to a boil some salted water and add the pasta. Cook according to package directions. Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta liquid and drain the rest of the pasta.

While the pasta is cooking prepare the pesto. Add the olive oil, red pepper, almonds, tomato paste garlic, salt, pepper into a food processor and process until smooth. Add in the 1/4 cup of pasta liquid and pulse through for a few seconds.

Mix in with the pasta. Add the Parmigiano reggiano cheese and mix to incorporate. Serve either hot or cold.

Garnish with fresh parsley. Enjoy!


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