Penne with Almond Red Pepper Pesto

    45 min

    A deliciously smooth pesto-like pasta sauce made with sautéed red peppers, onions and almonds, tossed with freshly cooked pasta.

    96 people made this

    Serves: 6 

    • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
    • 1 large onion, chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 red peppers, chopped
    • 30g (1 oz) almonds
    • 1 dessertspoon balsamic vinegar
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • freshly ground black pepper
    • pinch dried crushed chillies
    • 375g (13 oz) broccoli florets
    • 1 (500g) pack penne pasta
    • 30g (1 oz) Parmesan cheese, grated
    • handful fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips

    Prep: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 pepper. Continue to cook, stirring often for 15 minutes.
    2. In a food processor or blender, finely chop the almonds. Add the pepper-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 pepper 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.

    Parmesan cheese

    Parmesan cheese is not truly vegetarian, as it contains animal rennet. To make this dish 100% vegetarian, omit the cheese or find a suitable vegetarian substitute made without animal rennet. In supermarkets look for the 'parmesan style hard cheeses' which are suitable for vegetarians.

    Recently viewed

    Reviews & ratings
    Average global rating:

    Reviews in English (60)


    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.  -  24 Jul 2008


    Love this one! My mother didn't like it, but she doesn't really like vegetables much. It was neat to have a non-tomato red sauce. My meat-loving husband said this is one of the few meatless dishes I make where he doesn't miss the meat. This one's a keeper for us! Thanks!  -  24 Jul 2008


    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.  -  24 Jul 2008