With a simple, yet super flavorful sauce and an easy method that can be done ahead of time, this Red Pepper Pasta is a favorite family dinner to share.

Two bowls with red pepper pasta with coltiva pasta bag on side.

Red Pepper Pasta

This post is sponsored by Colavita.

I’ve been looking for yummy ways to incorporate different veggies than we usually eat into our diet and this red pepper sauce is a new favorite. I love how roasting the peppers with onions and garlic deepens their flavors and that it’s as simple as blending everything together after that step.

You can use fresh or frozen veggies to make this and the sauce can be made ahead and stored in the fridge or freezer, too.

We mostly eat it as a sauce for pasta, though it’s so good you could use it as a dip for roasted sweet potatoes, Chicken Meatballs, Turkey Meatballs, or really anything that sounds yummy!

This post is my latest collaboration with Colavita, my favorite source for Italian pantry staples. The company is family-owned and operated and makes pasta, olive oil, beans, sauces, and so much more. Use my exclusive code YUMMY25 in their online store for 25% off.

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Ingredients You Need

Here’s a look at the ingredients you need to make this easy pasta recipe to share with the kids.

Ingredients for red pepper pasta on countertop.
  • Red bell peppers: I like to make this with roughly diced fresh red bell peppers, but you could use frozen presliced ones, too, if desired.
  • Onion: I typically use yellow onion here, but white will also work. I like to add onion with the pepper since I find that it adds some sweetness and another layer of yummy flavor to the sauce.
  • Garlic: We put a few cloves of garlic right onto the baking pan to roast with the peppers and onion, which makes the garlic slightly caramelized and sweet. This adds another delicious flavor to the sauce.
  • Colavita Extra-Virgin Olive Oil: When roasting the vegetables, I toss it in extra-virgin olive oil to ensure that it cooks and browns evenly. The oil also goes into the blender and helps to create a sauce that coats the pasta nicely.
  • Colavita pasta: I’m using the long fusilli pasta here, which is a really fun shape. You can use whichever pasta shape or size your family prefers.
  • Ricotta cheese: To make the sauce creamy, we use some of the pasta cooking water and some ricotta cheese. I prefer to use full-fat ricotta. The flavor of the ricotta pairs so nicely with the roasted vegetables. (To make this recipe dairy-free, replace the ricotta with white beans.)
  • Parmesan cheese, basil, cracked black pepper: You can add any of these ingredients on top of your pasta, optionally.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Below is an overview of the process involved in making this red pepper pasta so you know what to expect. Scroll down to the end of the post for the full information, including the amounts and the timing.

  1. Add the peppers, onion, and garlic to a sheet pan. Toss with olive oil and salt.
  2. Roast until softened and slightly browned. Meanwhile, prepare the pasta.
  3. Transfer to a blender with ricotta cheese and some of the pasta cooking water.
  4. Blend very smooth. Toss with fully cooked pasta.
Two bowls with red pepper pasta.

How to Store

Make the sauce up to 5 days ahead of time and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Or, you can freeze it for up to a year in a small freezer container.

Store leftover pasta and sauce in an airtight container in the fridge and reheat as you like.

Best Tips for Success

  • Dairy-free: Use an equal amount of drained and rinsed white beans in place of the ricotta cheese.
  • Top servings with grated Parmesan cheese, fresh basil, cracked black pepper, or other garnishes as you like.
  • Use any shape of pasta that you prefer. Cutting up long noodles may make them easier for little kids to eat.
  • Add fully cooked chicken, shrimp, tofu, or warmed white beans to the dish to add more protein. (Though know that each serving is a great source of plant-based protein as is!)

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Two bowls with red pepper pasta and forks.

Easy Red Pepper Pasta

With a simple, yet super flavorful sauce and an easy method that can be done ahead of time, this Red Pepper Pasta is a favorite family dinner to share.
5 from 20 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Cuisine Italian
Course Dinner
Calories 284kcal
Servings 8

Ingredients

  • 2 red bell peppers (roughly chopped, stems discarded; about 4 cups)
  • 1 small onion (peeled and roughly chopped; about 1 cup)
  • 4 cloves garlic (peeled)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup ricotta cheese (or milk)
  • 1 pound pasta
  • Fresh basil, grated Parmesan cheese, salt, and/or black pepper (optional, to taste)
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Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place the peppers, onions, and garlic on a half or quarter baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and toss to coat. Roast until the vegetables are tender and golden brown, about 24-26 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Remove 1 cup of the pasta cooking water and set aside to reserve. Drain the pasta, and return it to the pot.
  • Transfer the roasted vegetables to a blender with the ricotta cheese. Blend until smooth and creamy, adding as much of the pasta cooking water as needed to make a smooth sauce.
  • Add as much of the sauce to the cooked pasta as you like and toss to coat.
  • Serve immediately with fresh basil, grated Parmesan cheese, and/or black pepper as you like.

Video

Notes

  • Make the sauce up to 5 days ahead of time and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Or, you can freeze it for up to a year in a small freezer container.
  • Store leftover pasta and sauce in an airtight container in the fridge and reheat as you like.
  • Dairy-free: Use an equal amount of drained and rinsed white beans in place of the ricotta cheese.

Nutrition

Calories: 284kcal, Carbohydrates: 46g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 8mg, Sodium: 91mg, Potassium: 232mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 1001IU, Vitamin C: 40mg, Calcium: 52mg, Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

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Comments

  1. What type of white beans can be used instead of ricotta cheese? White kidney beans, white lima beans, and white navy beans are my options. Thanks

  2. 5 stars
    My second time making this, it’s delicious and smells so good. Each time I haven’t followed the recipe directly and instead worked with what I had on hand. Changes – 1 red pepper, 1 yellow pepper, full fat cottage cheese for ricotta, bone broth for the pasta water. Saw another comment of cheese and broiler so I did that this time. A bunch of cheddar and broil for a few mins. Seriously delicious. My husband loved it (added black pepper and crushed red pepper and parm), my 5 year old loved it and had two bowls and my 9 month old ate a a few bites. I also diced up some pepperoni for some salt and flavor on the adult plates and 5 year old. Another win. Thanks Amy!

  3. 5 stars
    This was a hit with our 9 month old twins! Wife and I enjoyed it too. I added 1/2 cup walnuts for some extra richness and to keep up with tree nut exposure. Thanks for the recipe!

  4. 5 stars
    This was delicious. I used whole wheat pasta and put it under the broiler with a bunch of cheddar cheese on top. Big kid and baby both loved it!

  5. 5 stars
    Amy- Thank you for another great recipe! It was easy and delicious. I’m excited to serve it to my granddaughter tomorrow.

  6. 5 stars
    This was fantastic! Simple, easy, quick to put together. Nutritious and my 2 year old liked it! I used cottage cheese instead of ricotta and it came out great.

  7. 5 stars
    This was quite tasty! I usually don’t have ricotta on hand. I used a red bell pepper and yellow bell pepper, can of white beans instead of ricotta. I forgot to save the pasta water so added a few splashes of milk and the remaining 3 oz I had left of a goat cheese log. Smelled and tasted fantastic and my 5 year old (and myself and husband) enjoyed it too. Added shredded parm at the end and lots of cracked black pepper, chili flakes and flaked salt for the adults. Thanks Amy!

  8. 5 stars
    Is the protein supposed to be from the ricotta cheese? I used milk so I guess that means mine didn’t have any protein? Sorry if that’s a dumb question 🙈