November 3, 2011

Delicious, Easy, and almost-maybe-healthy: Pasta with Roasted Red Pepper & Cream Sauce

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We were going to highlight another meal from China today, but unfortunately Bryan forgot the hard drive at home with the pictures on it. Rather than leave you hanging, we thought we'd share with you this delicious little concoction that we picked up/modified from The Pioneer Woman.

Roasting red peppers - any peppers actually - is a great technique you should add to your repertoire right away. It's super easy to do (you don't need to do it over open flame unless you want to be fancy), and amps up the flavor of your peppers, giving them a sweetness and smokiness that will permeate whatever dish you use them in. This works great with red peppers and also works exceedingly well with poblano peppers and jalapeños.

This dish comes together quite easily and we felt that it would work great piled over some fresh ricotta cheese to enhance the overall creaminess of the dish. So without further ado: orecchiette with roasted red pepper pesto sauce.

Making the Dish
Farm fresh red bell peppers

To get started, roast the red peppers. The easy way to do this is to turn on your oven's broiler, let it get hot, and then place the red peppers on the broiler pan about 5 inches under the heat. Close the oven and let the peppers roast for about 5 - 7 minutes until they have a nice char, then flip them over, and char the other side. Once complete, place them in a bowl, cover with a towel, and let them rest for about 5 - 10 minutes, until they're cool enough to handle. Then, you can remove the stem, seeds, and skin very easily.

Red peppers charred to deliciousness. 

Once you've peeled the roasted red peppers, throw them into your food processor. Add in a tablespoon or toasted walnuts, and puree until it's nice and smooth.

Toasted walnuts

Thinly dice half an onion and two cloves of garlic. In a non-stick pan, sauté the onions and garlic in olive oil until nice and tender, but not burned. Once golden and slightly caramelized, add in the red pepper and walnut puree. Stir to combine, and let simmer for a few minutes.

Adding the red pepper puree to the simmered onions and garlic. 

While the sauce is simmering, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add in the orecchiette. Cook until one minute shy of package directions. While the pasta is finishing up, add half a cup of cream or half and half to your sauce and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Orecchiette - it means "little ears" 

Drain the pasta and add it to the pan with the sauce. Toss together over heat to combine, adding pasta water if necessary to loosen the mixture.

The orecchiette tossed with the red pepper pesto

Serve over a scoop of ricotta cheese, and enjoy!

The Result
This is a creamy, savory, sauce with a hint of sweetness and smokiness from the toasting of the walnuts and the roasting of the red peppers. Plus, it's very easy to pull together for a weeknight when you're exhausted and just need something quick.

Give it a try and let us know what you think. And if you know of any other recipes that utilize the roasting of peppers, please let us know in the comments, we'd love to try it!

Click through for the full ingredient list

Orecchiette with Roasted Red Pepper Pesto Sauce

A quick and easy, savory sweet pasta dish.

Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:

(Serves: 2)

1/2 lb orecchiette pasta
2 red bell peppers
2 cloves garlic
1/2 onion
1 - 2 tbsp toasted walnuts
3 tbsp olive oil
1 cups ricotta cheese
salt and pepper to taste


  1. This sounds wonderful. This is my first visit to your blog, so I've taken some time to browse through your earlier posts. I'm so glad I did that. I really like the food and recipes you share with your readers and I'll definitely be back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  2. Thank you!

    @ Mary - we're so excited to hear you like our blog. How did you find us?


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