Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

Sometimes, only a big, creamy bowl of pasta will do. A bright, rich, tangy roasted red pepper sauce spiced with paprika and finished with a good handful of parmesan and a dash of cream, and served stirred through tender tubes of penne and vibrant chunks of roasted pepper. And, all of this can be ready and on the table in just 25 minutes: meet my Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta.

Surprisingly, this pasta recipe took a while to get right. Sometimes it was too creamy, and sometimes it had too much tang. I tried to do a vegan version but, because I don’t really ‘do’ substitute ingredients, it was just not cutting it for me. But the one, most important thing I learned this pasta needs is texture. So, not only must you not, absolutely not skimp on roasting some pepper to toss through at the end (also don’t be tempted just to add big chunks from the jar), but if there are any add-ins you happen to have kicking around that would add crunch, while they’re not 100% necessary, they would be welcome here. So if you’ve already made my Caesar Salad Leaves with Homemade Garlic Breadcrumbs this month and you’ve got some of the aforementioned breadcrumbs leftover, just sprinkle the bowl with them before serving.

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Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

  • Author: Rachel Phipps
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2
  • Category: Dinner
  • Diet: Vegetarian


This easy, Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta recipe is perfect for busy weeknights – ready and on the table in just 25 minutes!


  • 2 small red peppers
  • 1 1/2 tbsp light oil
  • freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
  • 200g (7 oz) penne pasta shapes
  • 1 banana shallot
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1/4 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • large pinch dried chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1/2 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 120g (4 1/4 oz) roasted red peppers, from a jar
  • 4 tbsp chicken or vegetable stock, or pasta cooking water
  • 2 tbsp double (heavy) cream
  • small handful freshly grated parmesan, plus extra for serving
  • fresh basil, for serving


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees (390 fahrenheit). Core and chop the peppers into small, bite sized chunks and spread out across a baking tray. Toss with 1/2 tbsp of the oil and a good few grinds of seasoning before roasting for 20 minutes until soft and just starting to blacken around the edges.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a pan of boiling salted water as per the packets instructions. I usually check for doneness around the 15 minute mark.
  3. Peel and finely chop the shallot and the garlic clove. Heat the remaining 1 tbsp of oil over a medium high heat in a small frying pan. Add the shallot and garlic and gently fry with a few grinds of salt for 5 minutes or so until soft and just starting to take on some colour.
  4. Add the paprika and the chilli flakes and fry for a minute more until aromatic. Then add the puree and do the same, cooking until the mixture is brick red. Stir in the vinegar, and remove from the heat.
  5. Scrape the onion mixture into a bullet blender or a high powered food processor along with the jarred peppers, stock and some seasoning. Blitz until smooth.
  6. Drain the pasta, reserving a little of the cooking liquid. Return it to the pan along with the sauce and set over a low heat. Stir until the pasta is well coated in the sauce, then add the cream, followed by the parmesan. Keep stirring until the sauce just clings to the pasta, adding a little cooking water if you feel the texture could be silkier.
  7. Stir in the roasted pepper chunks before checking the seasoning (not before, remember they’re coated in salt and pepper!) and serve divided between warm bowls and topped with fresh basil and more parmesan.


Remember to use a vegetarian cheese if this matters to you!