Upgrade pasta night with this flavorful 30-minute roasted red pepper pasta recipe! The gorgeous cream sauce is paired with fresh basil and spinach for an easy to make yet special meal.
I think you might also enjoy my Spicy Italian Sausage Gnocchi next.
This post is sponsored by our long-term partner DeLallo – thank you for supporting the brands that keep Salt & Lavender cooking! I only work with brands whose products I love. All opinions are my own.
Why you'll love it
When everyday ingredients are really good quality, making an impressive meatless pasta dish like this roasted red pepper bucatini is totally simple in your kitchen. If you're a regular around here, you know how much I enjoy DeLallo's affordable pantry essentials and Italian specialties. They're a family-owned company that's been around since 1950!
Roasted red peppers have that irresistible smoky-sweet flavor, and picking up a jar of DeLallo's roasted red peppers just makes sense instead of roasting your own from scratch. Opening up a jar is easy peasy, and the vibrant slow-roasted taste of theirs is so good and a very tasty alternative to tomato-based sauces.
What you'll need
- Pasta - I chose Bucatini, which looks a lot like spaghetti but is actually a thin straw-like pasta. It's a fun yet elegant variety.
- Roasted Red Peppers - the star of the sauce. DeLallo's are perfectly roasted handpicked red peppers that are packed in water, so they're sweet and delicately smoky with no bitterness
- Garlic and onion - our tasty base aromatics. I prefer sweet (Vidalia) onions, but yellow is fine
- Italian seasoning - it adds in concentrated dried herb flavor and comes in a single jar
- Olive oil - use a good Italian one like DeLallo's Private Reserve EVOO.
- Butter - for sautéing
- Heavy cream - to give the sauce that luxurious quality
- Dijon mustard - it's a classic trick to enhance the flavor of sauces. It doesn't make it taste of mustard.
- Spinach and basil - to add a pop of freshness and complement the roasted peppers
- If your grocery store doesn't carry their products, you can order directly from the DeLallo website anytime since they ship nationwide. Their antipasti, biscotti, and other Italian goodies also make awesome gifts for the foodie in your life.
How to make roasted red pepper pasta
This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
Cook the pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, add the roasted red peppers, Italian seasoning, garlic, and olive oil to a food processor, blending until smooth.
In a skillet, melt the butter. Cook the onion until softened. Pour in the red pepper mixture, followed by the cream and Dijon mustard. Cook for 7-8 minutes until it's thickened up a bit. Taste, then season with salt & pepper.
Stir in the spinach and basil. Add the drained pasta, and toss until combined and the spinach has wilted. Top with freshly grated parmesan if desired, and enjoy.
- Be sure to use heavy cream as the sauce won't thicken the same and may curdle with lower fat options.
- It's important to salt the sauce enough. Cream sauces definitely need a generous amount so that the flavors shine through. Taste and adjust accordingly!
Substitutions and variations
- For a little kick, add in 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes.
- Feel free to use another shape of pasta, but I definitely recommend a longer variety.
- You could leave out the spinach altogether if that's not your thing.
- If you're looking to add in some extra protein, you could try slicing my Baked Chicken Breasts on top, or throw some shrimp into the sauce during the last few minutes of cooking time.
What to serve with this pasta
- I like to serve this easy roasted red pepper pasta with a big slice of fresh crusty bread along with a dipping bowl with olive oil and a splash of balsamic vinegar.
- You can't go wrong with a light side salad. Try my Super Simple Parmesan Arugula Salad.
Leftovers and storage
- Store leftovers of this roasted red pepper pasta for a few days in the fridge in an airtight container. Keep in mind the pasta will soften up the longer you leave it.
- If you're planning for leftovers, I recommend only using some of the sauce and not tossing all the pasta with it at once. Simply boil more pasta when you're ready, and reheat the sauce over a low heat in a saucepan.
- I don't recommend freezing this one or cream-based sauces in general.
More Italian-inspired favorites
If the post didn't answer your questions, talk to me in the comments below or leave a review! I hope you enjoy this delicious bucatini recipe. Tag me #saltandlavender on Instagram if you made it.
Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta
- 8 ounces DeLallo Bucatini Pasta
- 1 (12 ounce) jar DeLallo Roasted Red Peppers drained
- 2-3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon DeLallo Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 medium onion chopped
- 3/4 cup heavy/whipping cream
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 cups (packed) fresh baby spinach
- 1 small handful fresh basil
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese to taste
- Boil a salted pot of water for the pasta and cook it al dente according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, add the drained roasted red peppers, garlic, Italian seasoning, and olive oil to a food processor and blend until smooth.
- To a skillet, melt the butter over medium heat and cook the onion for 4-5 minutes or until softened and lightly browned.
- Add the roasted red pepper mixture, cream, and Dijon mustard to the skillet and cook until it's thickened up a bit (about 7-8 minutes), stirring occasionally. This is not meant to be a super thick sauce. Give it a taste and season with salt & pepper (I am generous with both).
- Stir in the spinach and basil, then add in the drained pasta and toss until the spinach has wilted (add a splash of the hot pasta water prior to draining the pasta if desired, especially if you want to thin the sauce more).
- Serve immediately with freshly grated parmesan cheese.