Roasted Red Pepper and Basil Pesto Penne

I am a fan of pesto. When I came across this recipe, I was intrigued with the roasted red pepper in the pesto. I have never heard of including that, so decided I needed to try it. It was delicious. Full of flavor, had a subtle kick to it (kids would still be able to eat it), and was completely different from a normal pesto. Yummy! 


4 cloves garlic
1/3 cup pine nuts (optional)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup roasted red bell pepper
1 cup basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 lb Penne pasta
1/4 cup heavy cream, optional


Place garlic and pine nuts in a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped.  Add Parmesan, red pepper, basil leaves, salt, and pepper. Pulse until well combined. While motor still running, add olive oil through feed tube and process until thoroughly blended. Set aside.
Cook pasta until al dente. Drain and return to the pot. Add pesto sauce to the pasta and stir to combine. Stir in heavy cream if desired for a creamier sauce. Heat until warmed through. Serve!

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