This easy, creamy roasted red pepper pasta adds some goat cheese, cream and Parmesan to the mix, for a delicious, flavourful dish that’s ready in just about 30 minutes!
This roasted red pepper pasta is one of my favourites! It combines roasted red peppers (jarred or home-roasted) with creamy goat cheese to make a perfect sauce that goes well with any pasta.
I’ve used rigatoni here, but it is equally good with other short pasta, such as penne or try it with spaghetti or linguini. If you’re looking for a straight-up roasted red pepper pasta sauce, with no tomatoes needed, this is it!
Ingredients and Substitutions
Roasted Red Peppers – you can use store-bought jarred roasted red peppers, or make your own roasted red peppers from fresh. Instructions for making your own roasted red peppers included below.
Cream – I find 10% Half and Half Cream perfect for this dish. Just creamy enough, without being too rich. You can approximate half and half cream by combining equal parts of whole milk and heavy cream.
Pasta – this sauce works nicely with short or long pasta, so use whatever pasta you have or enjoy. I’ve used rigatoni here.
Here’s a quick walk-through of the steps to make this delicious pasta. Always refer to the complete instructions in the Recipe Card below when making the pasta.
1. Start pasta boiling in a large pot of salted water before you start your sauce. The sauce comes together quickly, so it will be ready by the time your pasta is!
2. Start the sauce by softening onion and garlic in a little olive oil, together with a pinch of red pepper flakes.
3. Add roasted red peppers, cream, goat cheese and Parmesan and heat just until melted. Do not allow the sauce to boil.
4. Remove sauce to a small bowl and puree with an immersion blender (or puree in a blender).
*It would be nice if we could puree the sauce right in the pan, but the sauce is a thin layer and most immersion blenders won’t work well if you can’t submerge it into the sauce. I find it best to quickly remove the sauce to a small bowl, making a deeper sauce, that can be pureed easily.
5. Return sauce to pan and add cooked, drained pasta.
6. Season well with salt and pepper and serve garnished with chopped, fresh basil and additional Parmesan.
How to roast your own red peppers
Preheat oven to 450F. Cut the sides off the bell peppers and place onto a baking sheet skin side up. Roast in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the skin is very blackened. *Be sure the skin is very blackened, so the skin will come away easily after roasting. Remove from oven and let stand a 3-4 minutes, then use a sharp knife to peel the blackened skins off. Discard skin. Use right away, or transfer to an air-tight container and refrigerate up to 1 week. I like to toss in a little olive oil if making ahead and refrigerating.
Don’t skip the fresh basil for garnish. It’s really more than a garnish, as the flavour pairs perfectly with the sauce. I’ve used the leaves here, for photos, but ideally, you’ll just chiffonade it (stack the leaves, roll them up from the long side into a tight roll and then thinly slice) and sprinkle over the top, along with the Parmesan.
Get the Recipe: Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta
- 5 - 5 1/2 oz dried pasta, *see Note 1
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, sliced (not minced)
- 2 Tablespoons onion, finely diced
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- 6 Tablespoons half and half cream, 10% b.f., *see Note 2
- 2 1/2 oz goat cheese, (70g or 1/2 small log)
- 6 Tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
- 1/2 cup roasted red peppers, roughly chopped *see Note 3
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Fresh basil, chopped or chiffonade cut
- Additional freshly grated Parmesan
- Start a large pot of water boiling for the pasta and salt generously. When boiling, add the pasta and cook to al dente.
- Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a skillet on the stove-top over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring, just until onion softens, but doesn't brown. Add cream, goat cheese, Parmesan and roasted red peppers and cook, stirring, just until the cheese melts and you have a smooth sauce. Do not allow sauce to boil. Reduce heat, if necessary. Once sauce is smooth, turn heat off under the skillet. Remove sauce to a small bowl and puree with an immersion blender or alternately, transfer to a blender to puree.
- Return pureed sauce to the skillet. When pasta is ready, turn heat on under the skillet to medium and add the cooked, drained pasta to the skillet with the sauce. (If you didn't weigh the pasta amount to start, be sure you don't add too much pasta to the sauce, so add in portions and stirring between, adding only as much pasta as will allow the pasta to be well coated with sauce). Cook the sauce and pasta together for 2 minutes. Taste sauce, then season with salt, as needed (and it will need some), and some freshly ground black pepper.
- Serve garnished with fresh basil and additional freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Hi! I’m Jennifer, a home cook schooled by trial and error and almost 40 years of getting dinner on the table! I love to share my favourite recipes, both old and new, together with lots of tips and tricks to hopefully help make your home cooking enjoyable, stress free, rewarding and of course, delicious!