Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

creamy roasted red pepper pasta in a bowl

Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta is made with a jar of red peppers, a big scoop of ricotta cheese, and a few seasonings to make the easiest, most delicious pasta recipe you can accomplish on a weeknight. It’s practically a pantry pasta made with ingredients you might already have on hand, and if you don’t, there are endless substitutions. If you’ve been here a while, you’ll know that there are always substitutions.

The star of this carb show is the ridiculously creamy roasted red pepper pasta sauce that—surprise!—doesn’t actually have any cream. It gets its lusciousness from blended ricotta cheese, or you can use cottage cheese if you want something less rich and more protein-heavy (remember what I said about substitutions?) A shower of Parmesan cheese, a pinch of red pepper flakes, and a few garlic cloves (read: at least six) rounds out the savory sauce. Sprinkle on plenty of parsley or basil (substitutions!) for a final hit of freshness.

Tips to make it perfect

  • Feel free to use your favorite pasta shape, but something with ridges works best. Rigatoni, fusili, penne, or anything textured will cling onto the sauce a bit better.
  • Taste as you go. Roasted red peppers and ricotta cheese have very little (if any) natural saltiness so it’s important to season everything as you cook. Taste at each step to make sure you’re not going overboard (or under-board?)
  • Don’t skip the last step of stirring the pasta constantly for 2 minutes. This helps each noodle absorb the sauce and turn impossibly glossy. I set a timer to make sure I really stir for this amount of time.

How to make roasted red pepper sauce

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt generously. Add pasta and cook 1 minute less than package directions. Just before draining, scoop out 1 cup of pasta water. Drain pasta and set aside. 

ricotta, parmesan, red pepper flakes, and roasted red peppers in a blender

Meanwhile, in a blender or food processor, add the roasted red peppers, ricotta, Parmesan, and red pepper flakes, and as much pepper as you like. Season generously with salt. Blend until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

blended roasted red pepper sauce in a blender

To the same pot that the pasta was cooked in, add a drizzle of olive oil, followed by the garlic. Cook on low heat, stirring frequently until the garlic is softened and fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Turn off heat. Transfer the garlic to the blender, blend for another 30 seconds or so until incorporated. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

sauteed garlic in a pot

Pour the sauce into the pot with the garlic oil and bring to a simmer over low heat.

roasted red pepper pasta sauce in a pot

Add the pasta back to the pot, along with a splash of pasta water, and cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce coats the pasta and the pasta is al dente, 1-2 minutes. Add another splash of pasta water if the sauce is too thick. Discard remaining water.

roasted red pepper pasta sauce with cooked pasta in a pot

Turn off the heat and stir in the parsley. Serve with additional Parmesan and freshly ground pepper.

roasted red pepper pasta sauce with cooked pasta and parsley in a pot

More simple pantry pasta recipes:

Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

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Dinner American
By Samantha Serves: 4-6
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 35 minutes

Made with a jar of red peppers, a big scoop of ricotta or cottage cheese, and a few seasonings, this is the easiest, most delicious pasta recipe you can accomplish on a weeknight.

Ingredients

  • Salt
  • 16 oz pasta
  • 12 oz jar roasted red peppers
  • 1 cup ricotta or cottage cheese
  • 1 oz Parmesan, grated (about 1/2 cup), plus more for serving
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
  • ½ cup fresh parsley leaves and tender stems, chopped

Instructions

1

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt generously. Add pasta and cook 1 minute less than package directions. Just before draining, scoop out 1 cup of pasta water. Drain pasta and set aside.

2

Meanwhile, in a blender or food processor, add the roasted red peppers, ricotta, Parmesan, and red pepper flakes, and as much pepper as you like. Season generously with salt. Blend until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

3

To the same pot that the pasta was cooked in, add a drizzle of olive oil, followed by the garlic. Cook on low heat, stirring frequently until the garlic is softened and fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Turn off heat. Transfer the garlic to the blender, blend for another 30 seconds or so until incorporated. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

4

Pour the sauce into the pot with the garlic oil and bring to a simmer over low heat. Add the pasta back to the pot, along with a splash of pasta water, and cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce coats the pasta and the pasta is al dente, 1-2 minutes. Add another splash of pasta water if the sauce is too thick. Discard remaining water. Turn off the heat and stir in the parsley. Serve with additional Parmesan and freshly ground pepper.

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Victor
    March 11, 2022 at 8:19 am

    This looks delicious, and love that pasta shape! Is that the new Cascatelli? Thank you for this!

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