I promise that I am showing you the 4th post (in a row) full of red food with good reason.

As a self-proclaimed tomato sauce hater, I’ve just about had enough. Enough tomatoes, enough sauce, enough chili… enough enough enough. I have two giant tubs of chili frozen in my freezer, and at this rate I’m hoping they will stay edible for two full years. They truly are giant and I sort of just want to chuck them in the trash. I seriously cannot imagine putting one more bowl of chili beneath my chin, no matter how good it tastes. Lord help me.


But at any rate, I did manage to make this pasta dish last week for dinner that I’ve been dying to share with you, red or not. It’s simple and in my mind – perfect for a Monday when you really just wish it was Friday.

You won’t find me eating raw peppers anytime soon, but I do really love them roasted on top of things like pizza and pasta. So I ended up roasting my own, which is totally doable. If I can do it, you certainly can too. Trust me. I am not a chef by any means… I just play one on this blog.


We have especially been loving roasted reds lately. It all started when my husband decided he was in a sandwich phase – but not just any sandwich phase – triple the meat (think turkey + ham + roast beef), three different kinds of jarred peppers, spicy mustard and two kinds of cheese. Similar to his diet Mountain Dew, cheddar and peanut butter cracker, and chocolate-chip-cookie-over-the-sink phases. He was going through an entire jar of roasted red peppers per sandwich, being that most jars are complete rip offs and only contain one whole pepper twirled together in a manipulative way to make you believe it’s really two or three. One pepper! Ha. What a joke.


And I got in on this too when I started slicing squares of fontina and topping them with the peppers then laying both on buttered toast. I’ve been all over that and was buying 4-5 jars of roasted peppers at time which was nearing the brink of ridiculousness.

All you need to do is throw the peppers under your broiler, char them ’til black, then stuff them in a ziplock bag and let them do their thing. It’s really not a big deal, and yes… I’ve tried that whole roasting-on-my-gas-burner thing and it just skeeves me out. I’m not too skilled when it comes to things in the kitchen like chopping with a scary knife and remembering to turn off the oven, so I didn’t find standing over an open flame very desirable. Um, plus… have you seen my hair? Someone likes hairspray.

I love this dish for multiple reasons, one of them being that it is not tomato based (duh) and the second being that the sauce leaves just a light coating on the pasta. I do not like my pasta swimming in sauce, unless we’re talking alfredo… the language of love. Give me cheese or give me death. My suggestion would be if you do like tons upon tons of sauce, double the sauce recipe to the same amount of pasta. That’s a lot of garlic and delicious spice. Maybe just don’t make out with anyone right after eating it? Or do. Whatever. Maybe you like that sort of thing.

Roasted Red Pepper Penne

serves 4

2 large red peppers

3 cloves of garlic

1/3 cup parmesan cheese

4-5 basil leaves, torn

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon salt

4-5 tablespoons olive oil (I used a garlic-infused from Fustinis)

2 cups of dry whole wheat penne

1/2 yellow onion, chopped

2 thin sliced boneless, skinless chicken breasts

salt & pepper for seasoning chicken

To roast peppers: remove core and seeds from peppers and slice into pieces. Lay on a baking sheet and preheat the broiler in your oven. Place under the broiler skin-side up until skins are completely charred and black – this took about 10 minutes for me but will depend on your oven. Just check every 2 minutes or so. Immediately remove peppers from oven and using kitchen tongs, quickly place them in a ziplock bag then seal it. Set aside for 20-30 minutes.

While peppers are “steaming” in the bag, pat the chicken breasts completely dry with a pepper towel, then season them with salt and pepper. Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Brown chicken on both sides until cooked through, about 4-5 minutes per side. {I made the chicken the same as this recipe.} Set chicken aside to cool, then add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the same skillet with onions and a sprinkle of salt. Saute over medium-low heat until onions soften and caramelized. Cut chicken into pieces.

Boil water and prepare pasta according to directions. Remove peppers from the bag and peel the skin off to discard. It’s okay if a little bit of char remains as it adds to the flavor. Add peppers, garlic, parmesan cheese, basil, salt and pepper to a food processor. Blend until pureed, then stream in 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil so mixture comes together.

In a large bowl, combine penne with chicken and onions. Add red pepper sauce and toss thoroughly to coat as it is very thick. Serve with additional parmesan cheese and a few basil leaves.

I need a cookie after all of this.

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155 Responses to “Roasted Red Pepper Penne.”

  1. #
    Kathryn — September 19, 2011 @ 7:06 am

    My boyfriend doesn’t like tomato based dishes either so this looks like a perfect alternative. I’m in a phase of only posting brown food at the moment but I figure that as it’s because most of my efforts revolve around chocolate, that’s no bad thing.


  2. #
    Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga — September 19, 2011 @ 7:06 am

    Wow that red pepper puree looks sooo good! I could skip the pasta and seriously just go to town on that as a dip. I bet it’s fabulous on just about…anything!

    I can’t believe you don’t like raw peppers….they are so crunchy and good. I could see you loving your white bean hummus on pepper wedges. Ok maybe not but worth a shot :)


    • Megan — September 19th, 2011 @ 7:25 am



  3. #
    Khushboo @ Two Megapixel Food — September 19, 2011 @ 7:15 am

    I am a pro at roasting stuff on the gas burner though I have never tried roasting bell peppers. Agree with Averie though, this would make a good dip too!

    PS: I can’t believe you have such awesome food everyday. Mr. How Sweet is a lucky man.


  4. #
    Piper@GotItCookIt — September 19, 2011 @ 7:16 am

    I love peppers; roasted, fresh, on sandwiches, in sauce, anyways! I think we’re having this for dinner tonight. I always have Trader Joe’s roasted peppers in my pantry, they are fantastic. I can’t stand roasting my own peppers…. .
    Maybe you’ve already done one, but I do a yummy appetizer with peppers, capers and anchovies to serve on french bread.


    • Jessica — September 19th, 2011 @ 10:53 am

      That sounds amazing.


  5. #
    Lauren @ Healthy Food For Living — September 19, 2011 @ 7:17 am

    I agree… making roasted red peppers at home makes so much more sense than buying them in jars! I actually do use my gas burners, but it’s not without at least a little concern – I watch ’em like a hawk ;). This sauce sounds great; definitely a nice switch from tomato sauce!


  6. #
    Erika - The Teenage Taste — September 19, 2011 @ 7:17 am

    I love that you used roasted peppers in place of tomatoes in the sauce! I like roasted peppers better anyways! ;)


  7. #
    chelsey @ clean eating chelsey — September 19, 2011 @ 7:21 am

    I do the whole roasting the pepper on the stove thing, but it really makes me nervous – I’m giong to go with the broiling method next time. And I’m a swimming in sauce kind of girl.

    PS – this looks really good. reeeaaallly good.


  8. #
    Holly @ The Runny Egg — September 19, 2011 @ 7:25 am

    I love tomato sauce — but I agree that sometimes you just get sick of it! I too have a crockpot (!) full of chili that I don’t want to eat and each day I just hope and pray Jason eats it all.

    I’ve never made my own roasted peppers but I too would never char it on the stovetop — somehow I think it would explode all over my kitchen if I tried.


  9. #
    Erica — September 19, 2011 @ 7:30 am

    I wonder if j would like this. He doesnt like raw peppers… He also doesnt like tomatoes, but likes the sauce.


  10. #
    Becki's Whole Life — September 19, 2011 @ 7:35 am

    I love your sauce – also like the addition of the sliced chicken and caramelized onions to this – holy yum!

    I agree – this is a great Monday dish:-)


  11. #
    Aimee @ ShugarySweets — September 19, 2011 @ 7:40 am

    That’s my kind of pasta! I love roasted red peppers on sammies too, although I always keep a few jars around for when laziness kicks in and I don’t want to roast my own (99% of the time).


    • Jessica — September 19th, 2011 @ 10:53 am

      I keep ’em around too… sometimes you can’t beat the ease.


  12. #
    TidyMom — September 19, 2011 @ 7:45 am

    We learned how to roast jalapeno peppers on a gas stove in Napa with Jeffrey Saad……you’re right it is a little scary……and I love the comment about the hair spray! haha

    This looks delicious! your way of roasting peppers sounds less intimidating! Thanks for sharing Jessica!!


  13. #
    Heather (Heather's Dish) — September 19, 2011 @ 7:52 am

    this post seriously couldn’t have come at a better time…i have 3 red peppers in our kitchen that need usage!


  14. #
    Molly @ RDexposed — September 19, 2011 @ 8:01 am

    This sounds delish, but a tomato sauce hater? You’re missing out on some good lycopene (<— nerdy comment for the day).


    • Jessica — September 19th, 2011 @ 10:52 am

      Oh don’t worry, I get my lycopene…. in bloody mary’s.


  15. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — September 19, 2011 @ 8:12 am

    Oooh what a beauty! I totally agree on that one-pepper-twirled-around-in-the-jar thing. You can make SO much more (for less $$) with real peppers in the oven. It’s been way too long since I roasted my own, and you’ve just inspired me to do so!!


  16. #
    Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray — September 19, 2011 @ 8:13 am

    This looks great! Love roasted red peppers. I know what you mean about getting burned out on certain foods. I made 16 pounds of bourbon mango pulled pork this weekend for a birthday party. It is one of my favorites, but after only about 5 pounds probably got eaten…I’m a little tired of it! Into the freezer it goes…


    • Jessica — September 19th, 2011 @ 10:51 am

      I will gladly take some of that off of your hands. Pulled pork is one of my favorite foods!


      • Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray — September 19th, 2011 @ 10:56 am

        Well, then you have to try this recipe. Because I’m kind of sure I’ve seen both mangoes and some alcohol on this blog once or twice ;) so I think you’d like this pork. I hate being linky in comments…and I really hate sharing a link with possibly the worst photos in the world, but the recipe is a big winner. Bourbon Mango Pulled Pork

        • Jessica — September 19th, 2011 @ 10:57 am

          You know me so well – thank you for sharing, I can’t wait to try it!

  17. #
    Grammy@gram-cracker.com/blog — September 19, 2011 @ 8:16 am

    I adore roasted red peppers. And basil. And pasta. And cheese. Pretty sure I’ll be making this tonight, being that it’s Monday and all…:)


  18. #
    Lynne @ 365 Days of Baking — September 19, 2011 @ 8:37 am

    Ziploc bag, hunh? Haven’t tried that before, but will now.
    Thanks Jessica!


  19. #
    Allison — September 19, 2011 @ 8:44 am

    This sounds FANTABULOUS! I might have to add this to the dinner menu once I pick up more Red Peppers!


  20. #
    Heather @ Get Healthy With Heather — September 19, 2011 @ 8:49 am

    Roasted red pepper sauce is freakin amazing! Please keep showing them!!


  21. #
    Cookbook Queen — September 19, 2011 @ 8:54 am

    I know you’re sick of chili and red foods…but I’m thinking I could really get on board with this pasta/chili phase you’re in. Maybe send some this way? Surely it can reach Arkansas before it thaws?

    Also, how did you know that I wish my Mondays were Fridays? Total Mind Reader, that’s what you are.


  22. #
    Melissa — September 19, 2011 @ 9:02 am

    Oh, you crack me up! Someone likes hairspray–love it! But I would be terrified of that, too. I try to stay away from open flames whenever possible. It’s for the best.

    Fontina and roasted red peppers on buttered toast?! You had me at hello. But this looks incredible. Must try. And slather it over everything.


  23. #
    Hilliary @ Happily Ever Healthy — September 19, 2011 @ 9:08 am



  24. #
    Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit — September 19, 2011 @ 9:16 am

    I’m such a boring pasta eater: 1 big bowl of rice pasta + 1 tbsp coconut oil + minced garlic and I’m a happy camper. I need to branch out though. I feel you on the roasted pepper front. We went through jars and jars before I finally decided to make my own!


  25. #
    Emily — September 19, 2011 @ 9:16 am

    I like your method of roasting the peppers. I’ve always done them whole in the oven, then basically just burned my fingers afterward when all the hot water comes running out as I peel. I’ll be trying your method tonight instead, I think!


    • Jessica — September 19th, 2011 @ 10:50 am

      I didn’t even consider doing them whole… you are right, that probably burns like crazy!


  26. #
    Gina @ Running to the Kitchen — September 19, 2011 @ 9:19 am

    I love tomato sauce but this still looks awesome as an alternative. I’ve never roasted my own peppers but it kinda looks fun!


  27. #
    Caitlin @ Cake with Love — September 19, 2011 @ 9:23 am

    Roasted red pepper sauces are my favorite, our market carries this polish jarred sauces (I am from Eastern Europe originally – Moldova – if you heard of it?!) and the sauces are made from roasted red pepper and eggplant, they are delicoius on everything, pasta, sandwiches!!! My mom acctually makes her own in different flavors – very good!


    • Jessica — September 19th, 2011 @ 10:50 am

      That sounds delicious – I want to try!


  28. #
    Jessica @ Stylish Stealthy and Healthy — September 19, 2011 @ 9:24 am

    Can I just tell you that the cruelty of this world makes me feel kind of sick after I eat roasted red peppers, but I LOVE them.
    So I eat them anyways and complain for at least 2 hours that my stomach may be twisting into a pretzel.
    Food > comfort.


    • Jessica — September 19th, 2011 @ 10:50 am

      Whaaaat? That stinks. Totally worth it though.


  29. #
    Cait's Plate — September 19, 2011 @ 9:24 am

    Oh my. There are no words for how good that looks.


  30. #
    Ericka — September 19, 2011 @ 9:27 am

    Every time I read your blog, I’m reminded of how desperately in need I am of a food processor! Looks delish :)


    • Jessica — September 19th, 2011 @ 10:49 am

      Yes you do! Best investment ever.


  31. #
    Bev Weidner — September 19, 2011 @ 9:27 am

    This sauce and I wear friendship bracelets. I wear its letter jacket. It took me to the prom. WE WENT TO SECOND BASE ONCE.

    I have a fierce crush on this sauce.

    Yes, I’m okay, why do you ask?


  32. #
    Gen — September 19, 2011 @ 9:27 am

    yuuum!!! looks delicious!!


  33. #
    Kelly @ Laughter, Strength, and Food — September 19, 2011 @ 9:29 am

    This looks so good! I’m always excited for new pasta recipes since I basically live on the stuff! :-)


  34. #
    Diana @ frontyardfoodie — September 19, 2011 @ 9:39 am

    I’m a sauce and tomato lover but that doesn’t change the fact that I MUST eat that pasta right now….it’s only 8:40am.


  35. #
    Kim in MD — September 19, 2011 @ 9:53 am

    Oh my gosh…this looks amazing! You are a genious, Jessica! :-)


  36. #
    Lauren — September 19, 2011 @ 10:06 am

    This looks like something from an Italian restaurant. Yum!


  37. #
    Sommer@ASpicyPerspective — September 19, 2011 @ 10:17 am

    Oh, oh, OH, I LOVE the color of that sauce! I think I would take this over the cookie… maybe. :)


  38. #
    Sincerely Jill — September 19, 2011 @ 10:25 am

    Wow! This looks so delicious! I’ve recently decided that I no longer hate peppers so I’m going to have to give this one a try.


  39. #
    Jodi @ Southern Flavored Life — September 19, 2011 @ 10:36 am

    I can never be tired of tomatoes! But this looks great, and I haven’t ever done any sort of pasta dish with a pepper sauce. I am excited to try it.


  40. #
    Stephanie — September 19, 2011 @ 10:43 am

    I love anything with roasted peppers, but have never attempted them myself. This sounds easy enough though.

    When broiling them, how far from the broiler did you place the peppers?


    • Jessica — September 19th, 2011 @ 10:49 am

      I positioned my rack as high as it can go, just as if I was broiling meat. It worked perfectly!


      • Stephanie — September 19th, 2011 @ 1:45 pm

        Great, thanks :)

  41. #
    Maria — September 19, 2011 @ 10:46 am

    Too funny! I just made a similar pasta dish last week. Still need to post it:)


    • Jessica — September 19th, 2011 @ 10:48 am

      Great minds think alike my friend! :)


  42. #
    Natalie — September 19, 2011 @ 10:53 am

    I bet this tastes AMAZING. Wonderful flavours, I will be making this soon.


  43. #
    CouponClippingCook — September 19, 2011 @ 10:58 am

    So glad you showed how to get the skin off by using a Ziploc bag. That’s so handy to know. This recipe looks so good….the flavors sound really delish together.


  44. #
    Danielle — September 19, 2011 @ 11:00 am

    Yum! I’ve had a jar of roasted red peppers for a while now, not knowing what to do with them!
    I’ve got my dinner planned now. :)


  45. #
    Melanie — September 19, 2011 @ 11:01 am

    I have never found any recipe worthy of actually buying those ridiculously overpriced jars of roasted peppers, and now I NEVER need to!! You are so ingenuitive. LOVE IT! I cannot wait to try this. Red peppers are SO nutritious. What a great alternative. THANK YOU.


  46. #
    lisa — September 19, 2011 @ 11:08 am

    this looks delicious!


  47. #
    Caitlin — September 19, 2011 @ 11:15 am

    Do you think roasting the garlic would make the sauce too sweet? Since your crazy feta, I have had a serious love affair with roasted garlic.


    • Jessica — September 19th, 2011 @ 4:31 pm

      Um, I think that would be incredible and am now angry I didn’t think of it! I am also in love with roasted garlic. If you try it soon, let me know! I think it would be perfect.


  48. #
    Erin — September 19, 2011 @ 11:16 am

    I have noticed that a lot of what I eat is brown or red. So this fits right into my eating plans apparently!


  49. #
    d.liff @ yelleBELLYboo — September 19, 2011 @ 12:35 pm

    I made a greek version of red pepper pesto pasta a while back http://yellebellyboo.blogspot.com/2011/01/sundried-tomato-pesto-pasta-with-olives.html (definitely an old post, not so gorgeous!) – recipe is still awesome!


  50. #
    Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers — September 19, 2011 @ 12:38 pm

    That look fabulous. I can’t wait to try it out on my fave pasta (Hodgsons Mill WWheat Penne with Flax)


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