Pasta with Basil and Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

This sauce is a wonderful change from tomato sauce. It still has that saucy, red pop but with a slightly less acidic, slightly more intense flavor. Plus, it comes together quickly, with a brief period of oven time replacing hours of simmering on the stove.

I roast the peppers after slicing them, and take a nontraditional approach of leaving the pepper skins in tact. I’m not entirely sure why pepper skins are always removed, with the exception that when peppers are roasted whole, they’re often torched to the point where the skins turn a charcoal-like black. For sake of time, this recipe shortens the roast time, and therefore the skins needn’t come off. Likely, this is a nutritional bonus, given that many produce items contain a ton of vitamins and antioxidants in their protective skins. The food processor will do all the work to blend them into the rest of the sauce.

Olive oil and onions sweeten up the sauce, while beans bulk it up with a punch of protein. The end result is a full-flavored sauce, perfect for standing up to nutty, whole wheat pasta. Perfect as all those garden peppers start to turn red right about now!

Pasta with Basil and Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Yield: Serves 6-8


  • -3 red bell peppers, seeds removed and cut into 1-inch slices
  • -1/2 large onion, sliced
  • -4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • -2 cloves garlic
  • -1/4 packed cup of basil
  • -1 scant Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • -2 Tbsp. Cholula
  • -1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • -15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • -Salt and pepper, to taste
  • -1 lb. whole wheat pasta


  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil. Toss peppers and onions with 1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil. Generously season with salt and pepper.
  2. Place in oven, and roast 25-35 minutes, turning halfway.
  3. Pulse garlic in food processor. Add basil, remaining olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Cholula and nutritional yeast. Puree until smooth. Add peppers and onions, and continue to puree until entire sauce is smooth. Add another drizzle of oil if a thinner consistency is desired.
  4. Stir in beans. Spoon over pasta, and serve.

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  • Reply
    August 8, 2012 at 8:57 am

    That looks entirely wonderful :D. I love a good pasta dish… I must do more!

  • Reply
    Laurel Wirtanrn-Siloy
    September 24, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    Thia recipe was amazing. I omitted the cholula … Did not have it and forgot the vinegar. But wowsa this was soooo good.

    • Reply
      Grace Dickinson
      September 24, 2012 at 8:28 pm

      Glad to hear this turned out well for you Laurel! I love keeping a sense of variety when it comes to pasta.

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