I mentioned recently how I get on a roll with certain ingredients in the kitchen.  As far as baking and sweet things are concerned, I have been all about cranberries lately, but where cooking and savory dishes are concerned, roasted red pepper is my new favorite thing.  I have been making lots of recipes that use it and add it to everything else I can think of.  I first tried this recipe a few weeks ago and while we really enjoyed it, I felt that the red pepper was barely even noticeable underneath the basil flavor and it just wasn’t quite what I was hoping for.  Yesterday I decided to give it another try with some modifications to achieve the results I was expecting the first time, and I was much happier with the end result this time.  The red pepper was definitely the key flavor and the basil was a nice accompaniment.  I think this would be especially great with some grilled chicken mixed in as well – maybe I will try that next time!

Recipe Rewind: tried and true favorites I’ve made recently
roasted tomato soup – the perfect match for a grilled cheese sandwich


  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup roasted red bell pepper (fresh or jarred)
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb. penne pasta
  • ¼ cup heavy cream, optional


  • 01

    Place garlic and pine nuts in a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Add Parmesan, red pepper, basil leaves, salt and pepper. Pulse until well combined. With the motor running, add olive oil through the feed tube and process until incorporated. Set aside.

  • 02

    Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and return to the pot. Add the pesto to the pasta and stir to combine. Stir in heavy cream if desired for a creamier sauce. Heat until warmed through. Serve immediately.

  • That looks really great. I’m definitely bookmarking it.

  • bakingblonde

    This sounds phenomenal! I love the combo of flavors!!

  • If I had all the ingredients, I would switch up the menu tonight! This will have to wait until after thanksgiving though…

  • What a great combination! I love roasted red peppers, so it makes sense to me to incorporate them into a pesto. Delicious!

  • Questo piatto di pasta mi ispira moltissimo!!!!
    complimenti per il blog è pieno di ricette golose…
    hello!!! vale

  • This looks great! It would be a big hit with us!

  • This looks delicious, Annie. I think it will be a perfect post-Thanksgiving, tired of all the leftovers meal.

  • yammy!

  • Lauren

    I just made this for dinner – didn’t use the heavy cream. Absolutely wonderful!! Thanks for the recipe!

  • Faye

    I made this tonight and added italian sausage sine we have a larger family, it was amazing!

  • Michael

    Wow, just made this for dinner tonight and it was amazing. Wasn’t even too hard to make. I might add a bit of chili powder to it next time to give a bit of a kick. But fantastic recipe and fantastic photography (the picture sold me on making this tonight)

  • I’m so excited to try this! I am linking back to you on my August menu tomorrow!

  • Jessica

    Yummm! I just made this for dinner and both my husband and my 1 year old son loved it! I will make it again for sure!

  • I have been loving roasted red peppers as well…This recipe sounds amazing and I have all the ingredients to make it. I just made a roasted red pepper tomato soup! I want to review the recipe on my blog if you don’t mind?

  • Brandie

    I made this tonight after finding the recipe on “Pinterest”. My boyfriend and I both enjoyed it and will share the recipe! Awesome!

  • The roasted red peppers is what caught my attention initially. Then I looked through the ingredient list and knew this was the perfect recipe for an upcoming party. I can’t tell you how great this turned out….several of my co-workers asked me for the recipe. I plan to make it at home too!

  • Brandi

    Made this tonight and it was a hit!! Added grilled chicken and it was perfect! My mom hates pesto but loved this! I can’t wait to have the leftovers for lunch tomorrow:)

  • Brittany

    I made this last weekend and it was a hit! Everyone loved it and I gave the recipe out to two other people! The second time I made it I added mushrooms to it, delicious!

  • Katie

    Are there any replacements for pine nuts? Can I just leave them out? I can’t find any where I live.

  • Anonymous

    They are available at basically any grocery store. See the FAQ page for more info about substitutions.

  • Made this today. Was simple, tasted great. I added grilled chicken. My wife was impressed.

  • Tjvicktj

    Wonderful ! even without the cream ! Thank you – this is a keeper.

  • Brasicana3381

    Wonderful! I am allergic to pine nuts, so I just simply left them out, and it was FANTASTIC! It was something you would order at an expensive Italian restaurant. I have added grilled chicken and sliced Italian sausage. I am making it again tonight, for guests and doubling the red peppers, yum!

  • Sara Deer

    I’m sure this is a great recipe, but I noticed that in the directions you say to add the Pesto, but don’t include that in your ingredients list… am I missing something?

  • annieseats

    The pesto is what is made in the whole first step. Then you mix it in with the pasta.

  • vhollandt

    So excited to try this tonight!!! Fresh basil or dry basil though?

  • annieseats


  • I tried this last night and it turned out great! I made it with whole wheat pasta and added a bunch of cooked shrimp.

  • I made this last night, and it turned out great. I used whole wheat penne and added cooked shrimp.

  • Originally came across this on Pinterest. I just made it last night. Delish! I used shells and added some grilled chicken to it.

  • Simakeo

    Loved it!!! Thank you:)

  • France Boudreau

    This was absolutely incredible! Thanks for sharing!

  • Mmsmith7543

    Yum. I just made this and it turned out so so great. We don’t have a food processor so we used a blender and it worked out just fine. I also added some baked chicken. I will most definitely keep this recipe to use again. Thank you!!

  • Jackie_Quinn

    Sounds delish and very user friendly, Can’t wait to try it.

  • meaningfulpursuit

    sooo good! will be making this on regular basis! thank you!

  • Lshort235

    I recommend adding the heavy cream!! This was delicious.

  • I found this on Pinterest and made it for a baby shower I hosted. It was so easy to make and very delicious! I’ll absolutely be making it again.

  • Kim

    Beth, do you recall how much you made and for how many people? I want to make this for a party I am having in 2 weeks. Thank you.

  • Marny

    I loved this pesto, but the second time I made it, I cut back on the raw garlic. The first time I used 3 cloves as suggested, and I was breathing garlic fire for days. The second time I used 2 smaller cloves and it was much better. I love garlic, but 3 cloves of raw garlic is a LOT.

  • Kerry

    Just made this & really liked. I used cream cheese instead of heavy whip cream. Will make again.

  • Jamie

    I really am a skeptic by nature but this recipe was fabulous. I wouldn’t change anything about it. We have eaten it twice in a week since finding it. Well done.

  • emily

    Just came across this recipe and can’t wait to try it! We love sooo many of your recipes! :)

  • Emily Zepf

    Very, very delicious dish! I left out the heavy cream since my husband is lactose intolerant and I didn’t miss it! I think this will definitely be made again!

  • Added chicken and mushrooms! This was yummy!

  • Beth

    Almonds can usually be used as substitutes for pine nuts.

  • Tessa

    Made this tonight! Delicious!! Thank you!

  • I made this tonight sans pine nuts and I used about a tablespoon of ricotta instead of 1/4 cup of heavy cream and it was the best sauce I ever made! Flavorful but pretty figure friendly. If I could offer one suggestion, I’d say to just put the serving size — I ran out rather quick. If you’re cooking for more than two, I’d double the recipe at least. Thank you for the recipe! :D

  • haneul107

    I made this yesterday and I omitted the pine nuts as I was cooking for a person who is allergic. I also added a little less cream and cheese. All in all, it was absolutely delicious. Will be making this again (and again!)

  • Sonja

    Thank you for this recipe! I finally got a chance to make it and took a few snaps for my blog :)

  • Hannah

    This was waaay to garlicy for me and I love garlic. Perhaps it was just my garlic. But, that being said, it would be great with just one garlic clove. The sauce is creamy and great.

  • Rita

    this is delish…especially
    with the heavy cream added!

  • oh wow!! gonna have to try this! Looks yummy!

  • Jenna

    I have made this a number of times before and followed the recipe exactly and it is DELISH! absolutely love this dish! Thank you for sharing!!