This simple roasted red pepper and sun dried tomato pasta is your answer to a super easy, filling and delicious weeknight meal. Made with the best sun dried tomato pasta sauce that's made in a food processor (which btw is pretty hard not to eat by the spoonful) and tossed with short fusilli pasta.
You'll be licking your bowl clean with this one....
Sun dried tomatoes are thee BEST.
They are packed with so much flavour, are so delicious as part of an antipasto with drinks, on crostini and add so much flavour to pasta sauces!
And what's better is that they are pretty cheap to buy in jars, already dried and marinated with Mediterranean herbs and sometimes capers (my favourite kind).
There's so much you can do with them but my favourite way to use them recently to blitz them up with some roasted red pepper to make the best sun dried tomato pasta sauce.
It is SO good.
I've been making sun dried tomato pesto for so long now, it's seriously to die for and embarrassingly easy to make, spread it on chargrilled bread and it's the BEST.
So it got me thinking that this should definitely be a pasta sauce.
Mixing it with a charred, roasted red pepper gives the pesto even more flavour and mellows the sharpness with a burst of sweet flavours. It's so simple and delicious.
The pasta I used for this dish is called Fusilli Bucati Corti. You've probably heard of fusilli before and quite probably had a good few bowls of it too but this type of fusilli is a little bit more fun!
It's spiraled (fusilli) and hollow (bucati) making it the perfect type of pasta to suck up all the sauce. If you manage to get your hands on fusilli bucati corti then I guarantee you will notice a big difference with every bite. It soaks up so much sauce so every single mouthful is absolutely delicious plus how pretty is it?!
Did you know you can also get a long version of it too called fusilli bucati lungi? Lungi means long and Corti means short. So we have long and short versions of this pretty pasta, yay!
I absolutely love it, check out gourmet Italian specialty stores near you or an Italian online store if you can't find it in your regular supermarket.
How To Make Sun Dried Tomato Pasta - Step By Step
First, you need to roast a large bell pepper or two small ones (bell peppers in Italy are huuuge).
Cut it in half, remove the white part inside and the seeds, rub it in a little olive oil and roast for around 30 minutes until completely soft and charred. YUM.
Tip: Put your pasta water on to boil 10 minutes before the pepper is done, salt it and boil the pasta until al dente (follow packet instructions).
Important: Reserve 2 cups (around 500ml) of pasta water before draining!
When it's still hot add it to a food processor (remove the green stalk beforehand) with the sun dried tomatoes, parmesan, garlic, basil and pine nuts then blitz until smooth.
It should be a smooth, thick paste.
Add the paste to the drained pasta and slowly add the reserved pasta water a little at a time (you will not need all the water). Add a splash and then stir the pasta until the pasta is coated completely in sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Tip: You don't want any sauce running about the pan it's meant to only coat the pasta so don't add too much water it will also weaken the flavour too much.
Once the pasta is coated in sauce add another tablespoon of grated parmesan and stir then serve. Tear over some extra basil if desired.
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Sun Dried Tomato Pasta with Roasted Red Pepper
- 1 ⅓ cup (120g) jarred marinated sun dried tomatoes ,sliced
- 1 large red pepper
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tbsp pine nuts
- 1 small bunch basil , plus extra for garnish
- 2 tbsp parmesan
- 14 oz (400g) fusilli bucati corti pasta or similar
- Cut the large red bell pepper or 2 small ones in half and remove the white part inside and the seeds. Rub the pepper inside and out with olive oil (around ½ tbsp) and place cut side down on a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes or until completely soft and slightly charred on the outside.
- When the pepper has been in the oven for 20-25 minutes bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente (follow packet instructions). Before draining reserve 2 cups/500ml of pasta water for later.
- Add the sun dried tomatoes, garlic, pine nuts, 1 tbsp of parmesan and a sprinkling of pepper to a food processor. Add the hot roasted pepper (remove the green stalks) and blitz to a smooth paste, taste for salt and add if needed.
- Add the paste to the drained pasta and gradually add the reserved pasta water a little at a time and stir the pasta to coat it in the sauce. You will not need all the water, it’s important to add just a little at a time and then stir the pasta until it’s just coated in the sauce. Add a pinch of salt and pepper if needed.
- Once you have the right consistency and another tbsp of grated parmesan and stir into the pasta, tear over some extra basil and serve.
- Use marinated jarred sun dried tomatoes with herbs and capers if possible.
- If the tomatoes are not pre-sliced into strips then do so before measuring in cups.
- Important: Reserve 2 cups/500ml of pasta water before draining this turns the paste into a sauce. Do Not substitute the pasta water for regular hot/warm water, the starch in the pasta water is important.
- You will not need all the reserved pasta water. It's important to add a splash then stir the pasta until the pasta is just coated. There should be no excess sauce at the bottom of the pan if there is the sauce will have diluted too much and will not have as much flavour.
- I always use extra virgin olive oil in all of my recipes unless stated otherwise
- When I use canned or jarred tomatoes of any kind I always use this brand for the best results and flavour
- All vegetables are medium sized unless stated otherwise
- All recipes are tested and developed using a fan (convection) oven
- Find out more about how nutrition is calculated here
- Check out our must have Italian Pantry Staples here
- You can also find all our Essential Kitchen Tools for Italian Cooking here