This creamy roasted red pepper rigatoni is a go-to weeknight pasta dish for me. The sauce comes together in a matter of minutes and has the perfect balance of roasted pepper zip and sweetness. Plus it's vegetarian!
Other weeknight pastas to try:
To make the pepper sauce, just heat up the broiler, chop up a red pepper, an onion, and a couple cloves of garlic and grill until blackened and full of flavor. Toss all of it into the blender with a healthy pour of olive oil and a pinch of salt and puree until smooth. Then, finish it off with a glug of a heavy cream and some grated parmesan cheese in the pan and there you have it! Plus it still counts as a veggie, right?
Roasted sweet pepper has this sort of indescribably savory flavor to me. It's naturally sweet snap transforms under heat into this spicy and smokey paste-like substance. And, when made into a cream sauce it pairs well with rigatoni or penne, (and would be fantastic with a cheesy ravioli too if you are feeling fancy.) If you like a little more spice, be bold and try adding a red fresno chile into your roasting mix!
Side salads to serve with roasted red pepper rigatoni
Roasted Red Pepper Rigatoni
- 1 large red bell pepper, (cored and halved)
- 1 small white onion, (halved with peel left on)
- 3 cloves garlic, (peel left on)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ teaspoon fennel seed, (optional)
- ½ teaspoon white peppercorns, (or ground white pepper, optional)
- 1 lb rigatoni
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- salt, fresh pepper, and parsley, (to taste)
- To start, heat your broiler to its highest setting and place a rack about 2" from the top. Put the chopped red pepper, onion, and garlic onto a sheet pan with the skin and peel sides up. Roast until the veggies are completely blackened, about 5-8 minutes, do not turn. Check often, some pieces might cook faster then others.
- While the veggies are roasting, get a pot of salted water boiling and cook your rigatoni until al dente, or to package directions. Save at least 1 cup of pasta water for later before draining.
- When the veggies are done, let them cool slightly and peel off the blackened skins and peels. Toss all the veggies into a blender with the olive oil, salt, fennel seed, and white pepper and blend until very smooth.
- Heat a large fry pan under medium heat and add the pepper sauce to it. Once it comes to a simmer add the heavy cream, parmesan, and reserved pasta water. Then, add the drained rigatoni and cook in the sauce until it thickens, about 2-3 minutes. Serve with some freshly cracked pepper, parsley, and salt if it needs it.
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