How To Roast Red Peppers & Make A Pasta Sauce With Them
I love red peppers. Raw. Stuffed. Roasted. Sauteed. The list goes on. When they are on sale, I buy a bunch. Making Roasted red peppers is an excellent way of using them up. They’re good in all sorts of things, but over a bowl of pasta is my favorite. With a vegetable based sauce you make yourself, you can call this a healthy dinner!
If your grocery store produce section was ransacked before you got there, or you left peppers sitting in the produce drawer a bit too long, that’s great. Older peppers, with their skin starting to wrinkle, work well as roasted red peppers since their skin gets peeled anyway. Give those ragged peppers new life and prevent a little food waste!
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Roasting Red Peppers
I’ve never understood why people pay a bunch of money for a tiny jar of roasted red peppers, when they’re so easy to roast yourself. While the peppers are roasting they pop, sizzle, and the skin gets toasty. It can be a bit disconcerting. Like things are burning and you’re doing it wrong. Don’t worry. You’re not. Remember that the skin on the peppers gets peeled anyway, so the char is evidence of all the flavor the pepper flesh is developing.
After roasting, the peppers steam in a closed container until they cool to room temperature. This helps their skins come off. You can peel the skins now, or put the peppers in the fridge and do it later. When I’m making pasta sauce with them, I put peeled peppers straight into a blender cup. They can be blended right away or popped in the fridge. Either way, they’re ready for pasta night.
You could clean the kitchen or scroll through Pinterest while peppers roast. Most of the time I don’t roast red peppers the same night we eat them for dinner. I make something else for dinner that night, then the next night’s dinner is super easy. A quick zip in the blender, and warm up in the skillet with a little cream cheese while the pasta cooks. Too easy. And who can argue with only a few ingredients?
MEALS TO MAKE WHILE ROASTING PEPPERS: Southwest Turkey Burgers | Potato Pancakes | Black Bean & Rice Bowls
Guilt Free Pasta (Sort Of)
I can’t say no to a bowl of pasta for dinner, and this way I feel a little better about it. Not that I ever feel super guilty. Carbs are life. But I always feel better if I manage to eat some produce. I’ve never been a big fan of tomato sauce for fulfilling that niche. You could always add more veggies to your roasted red pepper pasta or have a salad with it for a more balanced meal.
Roasted Red Pepper Pasta
- 2 red bell peppers
- 5 medium cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp cream cheese estimate, add a dollop
- 1 lbs pasta
- 1/2 – 1 tsp basil
- salt to taste
- parmesan for topping
Roasted Red Peppers
Seed and cut both peppers into quarters.
Place on greased baking sheet.
Roast at 375° for 30 minutes. Their skin should be toasty and wrinkly. The wrinklier they are the easier they are to peel.
Immediately place peppers in sealed container to steam.
Once the container is cooled off (~30 min) peel the skin from the peppers and discard.
Pasta & Sauce
Place water on to boil, add pasta when ready and cook to desired tenderness.
While water is heating, blend peeled roasted peppers with garlic until smooth.
Dump puree into skillet on low to medium heat.
After sauce has heated and cooked a bit (the heat helps to take a little edge off of the raw garlic), add cream cheese, basil and salt. Stir well.
Add drained pasta to sauce.
Top with parmesan and additional basil. Enjoy!
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