Pasta with roasted red pepper pesto

By • March 17, 2011 • 0 Comments

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Author Notes: The first time my husband made this for me I couldn't believe I'd never had it before. It's the sort of dish that feels instantly familiar and slips easily into regular rotation.

In the version my husband learned from some Milanese friends of his,strips of bell pepper sauteed in olive oil are tossed with ricotta and poured over penne. Although I also like it that way, I find this version more versatile. If you don't need to make a pound of pasta, leftover pesto can be spooned onto scrambled eggs, stirred into quiche, or served over gnocchi.
howtocookabear

Serves 6-8

  • 2 large red bell peppers (or one red and one orange or yellow)
  • 1.75 ounces walnuts (50 grams)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 5.3 ounces ricotta (150 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound penne rigate, malloreddus, or other ridged pasta
  • 1/4 cup pasta cooking water, reserved
  • grated parmesan for serving
  1. Roast peppers over a gas burner or under an electric broiler til charred all over. Remove them to a bowl & cover it with plastic wrap while the peppers cool.
  2. In a food processor, combine walnuts and garlic until finely ground. Add the ricotta, salt, and olive oil, and process til integrated.
  3. Once the peppers have cooled, skin and seed them. Add them to the ricotta mixture and process until combined.
  4. In the meantime, cook the pasta. When it is a minute or two from being done, remove 1/4 cup of cooking water and stir it into the pesto.
  5. Toss the pesto with the drained pasta and serve with grated parmesan cheese at the table.
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