Roasted Red Pepper Pesto
With so many additives and sugars in most jars of ready made sauces, I decided to try my hand at making my own. One of which is pesto. I enjoy pesto but due to allergies I have to make my own and omit the nuts. Guess you can say, sauce from scratch is not unfamiliar territory for me.
I looooove of roasted red peppers. I used to buy jars and jars of the stuff and put them into everything and anything.
A few weeks back, while grocery shopping I came across a great sale on peppers. I of course, took advantage of the sale and bought 3lbs of red, yellow and green peppers. I remember having a delicious roasted red pepper pesto pasta at this Italian restaurant and decided I would go on the internet and peruse through a few recipes and get an idea as to how to make it! Might as well since I had all these peppers!
Well let me tell you......game changer!!!! I made the sauce and tossed it with whole wheat linguine and some wilted spinach and it came out amazing!!!
This pasta is the perfect veggie-packed weeknight meal or can be made to impress at any social gathering. You can also add some baked chicken to add some protein!
You could definitely use jarred roasted red pepper here but I recommend roasting them yourself.
3 medium-large bell peppers (red, yellow or orange work; you want to have about 1 1/2 cups of roasted peppers)
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups roasted bells peppers
1 cup (packed) fresh basil
1/2 cup (packed) fresh parsley
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (or 2-3 tablespoons nutritional yeast, if vegan)
1 small clove of garlic, minced or grated
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
A pinch of red pepper flakes, optional
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4-5 cups (packed) greens (spinach, kale, chard, etc - I like spinach the best!)
Fresh ground pepper, to taste
Package of your favorite pasta (I recommend whole wheat linguine)
1/4-1/2 cup starchy cooking liquid
Garnish: parmesan cheese, torn basil
Preheat the oven to 425F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat.
Cut each peppers into 4 or 5 pieces to remove the seeds and stem.
Brush or rub the cut sides of the pepper pieces with a little oil to prevent sticking then place them cut sides down on the baking sheet.
Roast for about 20 minutes until the edges are dark and 'charred' and the skins are starting to wrinkle. Flip the peppers and continue cooking for about 10 minutes more.
Set peppers aside.
Add the roasted peppers, basil, parsley, cheese (or nutritional yeast for my vegan friends) garlic, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to a food processor. Blend until mostly smooth, pausing to scrap the sides of the bowl often. Drizzle in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and continue to blend until a smooth and even consistency is reached. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed. This makes about 1 1/2 cups of pesto sauce.
Cook fettucine according the package directions.
Reserve 1/4-1/2 cup of the starchy cooking liquid before draining.
While the pasta is cooking, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add the spinach and cook, stirring frequently until wilted.
Turn the heat to low and the pesto sauce. Stir to incorporate and let pesto heat slowly.
When the pasta is ready, stir in 1/4-1/2 cup of the reserved cooking liquid into the greens and pesto sauce until desired consistency is reached (you don't want the sauce too thin).
Add the cooked and drained pasta to the pan and toss until each noodle is coated in the sauce.
Serve immediately with the extra cheese and basil on top