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Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

This Roasted Red Pepper Pasta is a total flavor-packed comfort meal. It's super creamy, garlicky, spicy and smoky-sweet.
Course Entree
Cuisine American, Italian, Vegan
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6 people
Calories 441kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 large red bell peppers
  • 1 pound penne rigate pasta (gluten-free if preferred)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter
  • 1 small onion , diced
  • 3 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1/2 cup soy milk , unsweetened (or any plant-based milk)
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth , low sodium
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews , soaked in water 2-4 hours (*see note)
  • 1 teaspoon Himalayan salt , more to taste (I used 1 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice , fresh squeezed (I used 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper , optional (more if preferred)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • Fresh cracked pepper , to taste
  • 1 cup fresh basil , chopped

Instructions

Roasted Peppers

  • Place oven rack in the highest position and turn on the broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place whole peppers on the sheet 2 inches apart. Broil until the skin starts to blister & blacken. Using tongs, rotate peppers a quarter turn until all sides are charred, about 5 minutes each side. The peppers should be slightly collapsed & soft. The whole process takes 15-20 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and place peppers on a cutting board. Cover peppers with a large bowl or pot to steam them, about 10-15 minutes.
  • When peppers are cool enough to handle, slice them vertically, and spread them open to make a long strip. Remove the stem and seeds. Flip the pepper over and remove charred skin. It should peel off easily. Set aside.

Pasta & Sauce

  • Place pasta in a large pot of lightly salted boiling water. Cook until al dente (usually 10-12 minutes). Drain and set aside. 
  • Heat up oil and butter in large pan over medium heat. Lightly sprinkle with a pinch of salt. When melted, add onion and sauté until translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add garlic, crushed red pepper, oregano, and parsley and sauté for 2- 3 minutes until lightly brown. Stir often to prevent burning. Now stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat. 
  • Drain & rinse cashews and discard water. In a blender, place the sauteéd onions & garlic, broth, soy milk, roasted peppers, cashews, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and salt. Blend until cashews & peppers have completely broken down & sauce is smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Set aside.
  • Pour cream sauce back into the pan. Cook for 4-5 minutes on medium heat, until sauce slightly thickens up. Stir often to prevent burning (turn heat lower if necessary). Taste for seasoning, and add more if needed.
  • Now add cooked & drained pasta to the pan. Gently toss to coat. Warm pasta in sauce for a few minutes *only if needed. Otherwise, remove from heat, toss with fresh basil and serve immediately. Top with fresh-cracked pepper, and vegan parmesan. Enjoy!

Video

Notes

* To soften cashew faster: In a small pot, boil water and remove from heat. Add cashews and cover for 10-15 minutes, until softened. * You can do this while the peppers are roasting. 

* Timing: I like to start the sauce around the same time as the pasta. This way the pasta isn't sitting too long, and it will be hot & fresh when it goes into the sauce. * If pasta is taking longer than expected and your sauce is done, turn the heat on low or remove and cover for a few minutes. This will prevent the sauce from burning. 

* Vegetable Broth:
I like to use low sodium broth, so I can control the salt taste. Some broths are too salty and can ruin a good recipe. If you would like to use a regular broth, make sure to cut down the added salt in the recipe. Taste as you go along. Another option is to blend low sodium and regular broth together.
* Jarred Peppers: If you don't have time to roast the peppers, you can definitely use jarred roasted peppers. I highly recommend using fresh roasted peppers, but jarred is the next best thing and it will still be delicious! Replace the fresh with two 12 oz jars. Drain well.  
* Tip - I roast the peppers ahead of time and leave them in the fridge. I always make extra too. They will last for about a week. It makes life really easy and I use them for so many recipes like soups, sandwiches, sauces, dips appetizers and more. 
* Recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Nutrition

Calories: 441kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 462mg | Potassium: 631mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 2985IU | Vitamin C: 108.3mg | Calcium: 73mg | Iron: 2.9mg