Roasted Red Pepper Pesto with Casarecce Pasta

Casarecce with roasted red pepper pesto.

Roasted red pepper pesto is a fabulous flavourful contemporary Italian pesto recipe that is perfect with pasta, bruschetta and even white meat or fish. It also makes a great dip! 

roasted red pepper pesto with casarecce

Casarecce al pesto di peperoni arrostiti.

As I have mentioned in an earlier post, casarecce has 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.

casarecce pasta with roasted red pepper pesto

In fact, this aspect of pasta eating is very important here in Italy. Italians can be 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.

casarecce pasta from Valle del Grano Sicily

Casarecce is perfect with pesto!

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, they do serve basil pesto with trofie which is quite a similar pasta.

roasted red pepper pesto ingredients

The casarecce pasta I used.

The casarecce pasta I used for this recipe is made by a pasta company from Sicily called Valle del Grano. This is actually one of my Sicilian hubby’s favourite pasta brands. They make their pasta with 100% Sicilian durum wheat. The pasta is extruded through bronze dies and slow dried giving it a wonderful rough porous surface that sauces cling so well too! Definitely a brand to keep an eye out for.

red peppers on baking tray with olive oil

How to make roasted red pepper pesto!

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. Using red peppers in pesto has become quite popular here in Italy and there are other similar recipes.

4 ready roasted red peppers on baking tray

Some people make roasted red pepper pesto with the addition of ricotta or sun-dried tomatoes. I used walnuts, but you can also find this pesto made with almonds and pine nuts. There are also Italian recipes for red pepper pesto made with uncooked peppers. However, I think I prefer them roasted.

peeled roasted red peppers on white plate

Apart from the roasted peppers, I used some basil leaves, grated parmigiano cheese, extra virgin olive oil and walnuts for this roasted red pepper pesto. The resulting sauce was so delicious! And it’s so easy to make!!

roasted red peppers, basil, cheese and garlic in food processor

You can also put this roasted red pepper 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.

Roasted red pepper pesto

Using casarecce is not a rule! Fusilli is great too or penne and even gnocchi are a yummy roasted red pepper pesto partner! Give it a try! I’m sure you’ll like it!

If you do try this pesto pasta recipe, I’d love to hear what you think. Please write a comment here on the blog or post a comment on the Pasta Project Facebook page.

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Buon Appetito!

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Roasted red pepper pesto with casarecce

This recipe was originally published in 2017 but has been updated with new photos and text.

5 from 25 votes
casarecce pasta with roasted red pepper pesto
Casarecce with roasted red pepper pesto
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
40 mins

This delicious flavourful roasted red pepper pesto is so easy to make and can also be put on pizza, eaten on bread and added to grilled, baked or fried fish before serving!

Course: Main Course, Snack
Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean, Southern Italian
Keyword: authentic Italian pasta recipe, casarecce, pasta recipe, pesto, red peppers, roasted red peppers
Servings: 4
Author: Jacqueline De Bono
  • 400 g casarecce pasta (14oz) I used casarecce made by Valle Del Grano Sicily
  • 3-4 red bell peppers washed, tops and seeds removed
  • 1-2 small garlic clove peeled and cut into pieces
  • extra virgin olive oil. as required
  • 100 g walnuts ( 3.5 oz) shelled
  • 1 handful fresh basil leaves
  • 100 g grated parmesan cheese (3.5 oz) you can also use grana. Vegetarians will want to use vegetarian cheese.
  • salt for pasta and to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • fresh parsley washed and chopped for serving
  1. Put the cleaned peppers on an oven tray covered with baking paper, sprinkle with a little olive oil and cook for 20-25 minutes in a preheated oven at 180° until the skins start to brown.

  2. Put water on to boil for the pasta. Add salt when it starts to boil and bring to the boil again.

  3. When the peppers are ready, let them cool a bit and peel 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!)

  4. Cut the peppers into pieces.

  5. Put the walnuts and garlic into a blender and pulse until the pieces are quite small. Add the pepper pieces, basil, half the cheese and some olive oil and pulse again until the sauce is evenly blended but don’t make it too smooth. If it seems too dry add a little more olive oil.

  6. Add salt and pepper to taste and your pesto is ready!

  7. Cook the pasta al dente according to the instructions on the packet. Save a cup of the pasta cooking water once the pasta is ready then drain the pasta and return it to the pan and add the pesto. If it seems to dry add a little of the pasta cooking water.

  8. Mix well and serve immediately with the rest of the grated Parmigiano as required and chopped parsley.

  9. Buon appetito!
Recipe Notes

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!

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casarecce pasta with roasted red pepper pesto

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  • Avatar
    Jennifer Giordano Imbroll
    November 16, 2019 3:15 am

    So simple yet so satisfying. You can’t go wrong with this recipe.

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    November 13, 2019 12:38 am

    I used jarred roasted red peppers and made the pesto while my pasta cooked. Quick, easy and great flavor. Thanks!

  • Avatar
    Jenni LeBaron
    November 11, 2019 8:52 pm

    This red pepper pesto looks perfectly creamy and I love that this sauce uses walnuts for some extra body and flavor! Can’t wait to give this gorgeous recipe a try!

  • Avatar
    November 11, 2019 7:03 pm

    What a great pasta dish! The roasted red peppers add such a nice flavor and level of depth. Plus, it’s so easy and perfect for company.

  • Avatar
    November 11, 2019 3:59 am

    What a delicious pasta recipe! It looks and sounds delicious! I want to dive right in!

  • Avatar
    November 11, 2019 12:28 am

    Homemade red pepper pesto? This is amazing! I have never seen casarecce pasta, what other pasta would you recommend in its place?

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      November 11, 2019 3:20 am

      Hi Aleta, as noted above casarecce is not a rule! Fusilli are great too or tagliatelle and even gnocchi!

  • Avatar
    November 9, 2019 5:00 pm

    This red pepper pesto sauce is amazing! Unique and full of flavor and just a great weeknight meal!

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      November 11, 2019 3:04 am

      Thank you, Emily!

  • Avatar
    November 9, 2019 4:46 am

    This dish looks delicious! I’ll have to add this to our meal plan this week.

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      November 11, 2019 3:21 am

      Thank you, Alexis! Let us know if you try it!

  • Avatar
    Jere Cassidy
    November 9, 2019 4:36 am

    I have seen this pasta before but have not tried it, next time I am getting a bag to try. Love the idea of a red pepper pesto.

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      November 11, 2019 3:22 am

      Hi Jere, hope you grab a bag and try it! It is delicious!

  • Avatar
    November 9, 2019 3:41 am

    Such a delicious pasta… so delicious, it’s going in the regular rotation! And we already can’t wait to make it again. Genius idea to use a jar of red peppers… it’s so quick and easy!

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      November 11, 2019 3:22 am

      Thank you, Candice! Glad you love it!

  • Avatar
    November 8, 2019 10:26 pm

    This is my all time favorite sauce for pasta. So delicious!

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      November 11, 2019 3:23 am

      Thank you, Erika! It really is delicious!

  • Avatar
    November 8, 2019 6:54 pm

    I always want new pasta dishes and this one looks so simple and flavorful. Thanks for sharing!

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      November 11, 2019 3:23 am

      It definitely is delicious and simple – hope you love it!

  • Avatar
    November 8, 2019 5:24 pm

    Roasted pepper pesto is the best taste in this whole world and so it’s this recipe – was to die for and my kids were sad to see it’s over – I will have to make it again. I have some pepper pesto left over. Thank you so much for sharing – superb and has become our favourite pasta dish now 😉

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      November 11, 2019 3:25 am

      Thank you, Ramona! I am glad it was a big hit with the family!

  • Avatar
    November 8, 2019 4:13 am

    I’m a huge fan of red peppers and I think this recipe would be just fabulous! I love learning about Italian food! It’s my favorite!

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      November 11, 2019 3:26 am

      Thank you, Leslie! I love learning about food too, and obviously it tastes delicious!

  • Avatar
    Kelly Anthony
    November 7, 2019 9:21 pm

    This cassarecce roasted red pepper pesto looks so comforting and will a dish that everyone will love at my house.

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      November 11, 2019 3:27 am

      Thank you, Kelly. It’s a great recipe for the cooler weather. Hope you try it and love it!

  • Avatar
    Neli Howard
    November 6, 2019 10:17 pm

    Such a comforting meal, and it looks so delicious and easy to make!

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      November 11, 2019 3:28 am

      Thank you, Neli! Simple and delicious is the best combination!

  • Avatar
    Stine Mari
    November 6, 2019 4:29 pm

    This roasted red pepper pesto reminds me of muhammara, the Syrian pepper and walnuts dip. I love muhammara, so I know this recipe is perfect for me!

  • Avatar
    Bernice Hill
    November 6, 2019 3:56 am

    Casarecce is one of my favourite pasta shapes too…it’s so great for holding onto sauce. I will definitely keep an eye open for that brand of pasta, we have a really great Italian Centre here that brings in all sorts of delicious Italian treats!

  • Avatar
    November 6, 2019 3:47 am

    Red Pepper Pesto sounds out of this world! I always love to read your post. You explain so much about Italian food I never knew. I love hearty pasta dish and this sounds fabulous.

  • Avatar
    Paula Montenegro
    November 6, 2019 3:31 am

    I can’t wait to try this recipe! I completely agree with the shape being important. This red pepper pesto is delicious and will become a part of my weeknight meals!

  • Avatar
    November 5, 2019 9:08 pm

    This is really amazing! Everyone at my house loved it!

  • Avatar
    November 5, 2019 8:39 pm

    I’ve never made red pepper pesto homemade before and I was surprised how easy it was! So yummy!!

  • Avatar
    November 5, 2019 8:36 pm

    This is a family favorite!! I use the pesto on sandwiches too!

  • Avatar
    November 5, 2019 8:16 pm

    The perfect pasta dish! Love all the flavors, thank you!

  • Avatar
    Veena Azmanov
    November 5, 2019 8:05 pm

    This is delicious and I love the walnut crunch too. Awesome Dinner for sure. My family loves it.

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