Casarecce with roasted red pepper pesto
As I have mentioned in an earlier post , casarecce have long been one of my favourite types of pasta. Of course, it all depends on how you are going to serve your pasta. Certain pastas go well with light creamy sauces, other are better suited to a heavier meat sauce. In fact, this aspect of pasta recipes is very important here in Italy. Italians are quite fussy about which pasta to eat with a particular sauce. That doesn’t mean that people don’t mix and match a bit, but tradition is important to the Italians and there are many traditional recipes still being made the way they were invented decades ago, especially in the regions where they originated.
Back to casarecce! This short scroll like pasta is one of my favourite pesto partners. I guess because they’re not too big and not too small and the groove in the middle works really well for retaining sauces like pesto which tend to cling to pasta with this shape better than to spaghetti, for example. That’s my opinion anyway! Traditionally Italians don’t eat casarecce with the well-known pesto sauces such as pesto Genovese. However, nowadays there are so many new types of pesto and I love inventing my own as well as trying out new ones I come across on recipe sites or in cookery books.
This pesto recipe is basically my own invention. I love bell peppers especially red ones and I’m totally addicted to roasting them and then using them in all kinds of recipes such as soups, omelette, quiches and pasta sauces! Roasting the peppers really brings out the flavour and is so much healthier than frying them. There are other similar red pepper pesto recipes but not with the exact same ingredients, well at least I haven’t found one!
Apart from the roasted peppers, I used some basil leaves, parmesan and walnuts. The resulting sauce was delicious and you can also put it on pizza, eat it on bread and add a little to grilled, baked or fried fish before serving! Alternatively, it can be used to fill pasta such as cannelloni if you add some ricotta to give it more bulk and of course you can eat it with other types of pasta. Using casarecce is not a rule! Fusilli are great too or tagliatelle and even gnocchi are a yummy pesto partner! Give it a try! I’m sure you’ll like it!
- 350-400g casarecce pasta
- 600g red peppers
- 1 small garlic clove, peeled and cut into pieces
- 60ml olive oil
- 100g walnuts
- Handful of basil leaves
- 100g grated parmesan cheese (you can also use grana)
- Put salted water on to boil for the pasta
- Cook the peppers whole on baking paper for 20-25 minutes in a preheated oven at 200°
- When they are ready cut off the tops and peel and clean them (if you place them in a plastic food bag for 15 minutes after removing them from the oven they will be easier to peel!)
- Cut the peppers into pieces and put them into a food blender.
- Add the chopped garlic clove, basil leaves, walnuts, parmesan and olive oil.
- Pulse until the sauce is evenly blended but don’t make it too smooth.
- Add salt to taste and your pesto is ready!
- Cook the pasta al dente according to the instructions on the packet.
- Drain the pasta and return it to the pan and add the pesto.
- Mix well and serve with extra grated parmesan as required.
- Buon appetito!
- You can also put this pesto on pizza, eat it on bread and add a little to grilled, baked or fried fish before serving!
- Alternatively, it can be used to fill pasta such as cannelloni if you add some ricotta to give it more bulk and of course you can eat it with other types of pasta.
- Using casarecce is not a rule! Fusilli are great too or tagliatelle and even gnocchi are a yummy pesto partner!