Penne with Red Capsicum Pesto

    45 minutes

    This recipes makes a deliciously smooth pesto-like pasta sauce made with sautéed capsicums, onions and almonds, tossed with freshly cooked pasta.

    88 people made this

    Serves: 6 

    • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
    • 1 large onion, chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 red capsicums, chopped
    • 30g almonds
    • 1 dessertspoon balsamic vinegar
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • freshly ground black pepper
    • pinch dried crushed chilli
    • 375g broccoli florets
    • 500g penne pasta
    • 30g Parmesan cheese, grated
    • handful fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips

    Preparation:20min  ›  Cook:25min  ›  Ready in:45min 

    1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat in a large frying pan. Add the onions and sauté for about 5 minutes until softened, stirring occasionally. Lower the heat a bit and add the garlic and red capsicum. Continue to cook, stirring often for 15 minutes.
    2. In a food processor or blender, finely chop the almonds. Add the capsicum-onion mixture, the vinegar, and the remaining olive oil; blend all to a purée. Add the salt, black pepper and chillies. Blend briefly to incorporate.
    3. Arrange a vegetable steamer over water in a saucepan. Bring the water to the boil and add the broccoli. Cover and steam broccoli over medium heat for 5 minutes or a bit longer, until it is tender as you like. Keep warm.
    4. Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain, and return it to the pot.
    5. Pour the red capsicum sauce, Parmesan, broccoli and basil into the pot with the penne. Heat the contents over medium heat until thoroughly combined and heated through. Add more salt and pepper to taste if necessary. Serve immediately.

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    Reviews in English (60)


    I love this recipe. I am married to an Italian (green card Italian, not Mamma Leoni from Brooklyn Italian), and he is always impressed when I make this dish. The almonds are a special touch and it always helps to have fresh fresh fresh ingredients. My kids don't like peppers as a general rule so I never intended to make it for them. It looks like there's cream added to the sauce because of the creamy pink color. Great way to fool those die-hards who refuse to eat anything that is 100% vegetarian.  -  07 Nov 2001  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)


    Very good! I couldn't follow this recipe exactly because my food processor was uncooperative. Unable to puree the vegetables, I just tossed them with the other ingredients with wonderful results. This is designed to be served hot, but cold leftovers the following day were delicious.  -  30 May 2003  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)


    The sauce really is tasty, although I would be inclined to add more garlic, cayenne pepper and balsamic vinegar that it asks for because I found it a bit bland.  -  01 May 2001  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)