Pappardelle with Roasted Red Pepper Pesto

Ingredients

  • Large red bell pepper, halved and trimmed
  • 3 garlic cloves garlic, peeled
  • ¾ cup walnuts, chopped
  • ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, drained
  • ½ cup fresh basil, plus 4 leaves for garnish
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese (or Pecorino)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-pound box pappardelle noodles

Instructions Place red-pepper halves skin-side down on an oven rack in 400°F oven. Roast 15-20 minutes, or until the skin shrivels. Set aside to cool. In a medium saucepan, cover garlic cloves with cold water; bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 5 minutes until softened. Remove the garlic with a slotted spoon; set aside. Reserve water in the pan. Toast walnuts in a warmed frying pan (without oil), stirring constantly, over medium-high heat just until they start to turn golden. Remove from heat; place on paper towels. Place sun-dried tomatoes in the saucepan with reserved water, adding more water to cover as necessary. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon; set aside and blot to dry. Reserve the water in the pan. In a food processor, blend roasted red pepper, garlic, walnuts and sun-dried tomato with fresh basil, Parmesan, and salt and pepper to taste. Add the olive oil slowly until the mixture is smooth. Set the pesto aside. (You can freeze or refrigerate for later use.) Prepare pasta according to directions; drain, reserving ¼-cup pasta water. Transfer the pesto to a large serving bowl; add pasta, mixing in pasta water until a creamy consistency is achieved. Garnish with basil leaves and serve with additional grated cheese.

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