This Roasted Red Pepper Pasta is smoky, sweet and will quickly become one of your favorite vegetarian pasta dishes. The roasted red bell peppers add so much depth and flavor to the simple sauce.
Roasting bell peppers at home is easy, there are a couple of great methods and they will all give you the most wonderful smoky flavor to your sweet peppers.
This pasta recipe is sure to be a hit, perfect for vegetarians, or serve it as a side to some grilled chicken or pan-fried fish!
How to roast bell peppers
Roasting bell peppers gives them such an amazing depth and smoky sweetness. There are a couple of methods for this, so pick the one that is easiest for you.
On an open flame (either the BBQ or gas hob). To do this use a fork to stab the bell pepper a couple of times, this stops the pepper exploding. Then place the whole pepper on to the bars of your BBQ or place a wire rack over your gas hob. Use a high flame. Keep turning the pepper until every bit of skin is well charred.
Under the broiler. Cut each pepper in half and remove the seeds. Cut each half into quarters and place them cut side down on a baking sheet. Set the baking sheet under the broiler until the skin is completely black and charred.
Removing the skin from your bell pepper
No matter which method you use. Once the skins are charred, set the roasted bell peppers aside in a covered bowl and the residual heat will steam the skins, making them simple to remove.
You can then just rub away the charred skins. Don’t be tempted to wash off the skins, sure it is mess-free but it also washes away so much of the sweet roasted flavor. And that flavor is what makes this pasta so delicious.
When you are removing the skins, don’t worry too much if there is some of the blackened skin that doesn’t come off. A little in the pasta will add to the smoky savory notes.
Which Bell peppers to use
We like the bright pop of the red bell peppers, but you could easily substitute in yellow or orange bell peppers. I don’t recommend using green ones as they don’t have as much natural sugar in them and the flavor isn’t as sweet.
What Pasta to choose for your roasted bell pepper pasta
To match the long slivers of sweet roasted pepper, we like to pick a long pasta. Linguine is our favorite but spaghetti or fettuccine would be great choices too.
This would also work with spirals or shells!
How to make the roasted pepper sauce
The roasted bell peppers are added to a creamy sauce enhanced with red onion and garlic. A quick simmer in this sauce is enough to permeate the sauce with the sweet smoky flavor.
To make the sauce, you fry off onion in olive oil. I like to cut the onion in half and then cut it so I get thin half moon shapes. This mirrors the shape of the finished pepper.
Chopped garlic is added to the onion and then the slices of roasted bell pepper are added along with some heavy cream. This simmers for 3-5 minutes to allow everything to mingle together.
That’s it! The simple sauce is ready for your chosen pasta!
Be sure to reserve a cup of the pasta cooking water before you drain the pasta. It is a trick we use with nearly every pasta recipe here on Sprinkles and Sprouts. The starch in the pasta cooking water helps to thicken sauces and allows the sauce to stick to the pasta. This means you can use less cream and still have a luscious creamy pasta.
What to serve with Roasted Pepper Pasta
Side: This creamy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta is rich and silky, so serve it with either a peppery arugula and parmesan salad if you want to brighten the meal. But for an extra level of comfort serve this pasta with a soft butter lettuce salad with an oregano herb dressing.
Wine: Although this pepper pasta does have a creamy base and rich taste it is still quite light. It works fabulously with both red or white wine. For those that prefer white wine, add a crisp juicy Vera Vinho Verde to cut through the rich smoky flavors. For the red lovers, a fruity red wine like a Sangiovese will pull out the sweet smoky pepper.
For more delicious pasta recipes try:
- Creamy Tomato Chicken Chorizo Pasta
- Lemon Pepper Chicken Pasta
- Creamy Lemon Salmon Pasta
- Roasted Vegetable Pasta
- Pasta with Chicken Broth and Butter
- Easy Garlic Bacon Pasta
- Creamy Pepper Steak Pasta
- Black Truffle Pasta
- See ALL 60+ Pasta Recipes
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Roasted Red Pepper Pasta
- 3 red bell peppers – see note 1
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 red onion
- 3/4 cup heavy cream or whipping cream
- 2 tbsp fresh oregano
- 12 oz long pasta – see note 2
To Roast the Bell Peppers
- Pre-heat the broiler (grill)
- Cut each bell pepper in half and remove the membrane and seeds.
- Cut the each half in half (so you have 1/4 of a whole pepper)
- Place the bell peppers cut side down on a baking sheet and then cook them under the broiler for 8-10 minutes until charred, black and blistered.
- Place the bell peppers directly onto the bars of your BBQ over high heat.
- Turn the peppers frequently until all of the skin is charred and blistered
- Lay a wire rack over your gas burner.
- Place the bell peppers directly onto the rack over a high flame.
- Turn the peppers frequently until all of the skin is charred and blistered.
Once the peppers are charred:
- Transfer the bell peppers to a bowl and cover them with cling wrap (or a damp tea towel)
- Let the peppers cool. Once cooled gently rub away the charred skin. (See note 3)
- If any juice has collected in the bowl, keep it for the sauce.
To make the pasta
- Bring a large pan of water to the boil
- Whilst the pasta water is coming to a boil start the sauce.
- Peel and slice the red onion into thin half moons. Then peel and chop the garlic.
- Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet and cook the onion over a medium-low heat for 3 minutes or until softened and fragrant.
- Add in the garlic and cook for an extra minute.
- Slice the roasted bell pepper into thin strips and add them to the onion and garlic.
- Pour in the cream and cook over a low heat for 3 minutes.
- Salt your pasta water generously (at least 1 tbsp) and add the pasta. Cook as per the instructions until the pasta is al-dente.
- Reserve a cup of the pasta cooking water and drain the pasta.
- Add the drained pasta and 2 tablespoons of the pasta cooking water.
- Stir together over a low heat until the pasta is well coated and the sauce has thickened over the strands.
- Add more pasta water if needed.
- Serve garnished with fresh oregano.
- You can use any bell peppers (capsicums) you like. We prefer red, yellow or orange.
- Long pasta works well with the strips of roasted pepper, but you could use spirals or shells.
- You don’t have to worry if you can’t get every bit of skin from the bell pepper, a little left on there will add to the smoky sauce. But don’t wash the skin from the bell peppers or you will lose the smoky sweetness.