This roasted red pepper ricotta pasta is a simple and easy comfort food dinner that all the family will love. Using a quick and easy roasted red pepper sauce combined with creamy ricotta and herbs means this is a 'nomato' pasta sauce made without tomatoes, so perfect for those with intolerances or who are just not a fan.
Trying to track down a pasta sauce without tomatoes can definitely be a little tricky. So it's become a little goal of mine to have lots to choose from here on the site! Dishes such as my coriander pesto pasta are a great alternative to tomato heavy dishes, and packed with flavour. You may also like to see my brown butter zucchini pasta and broccoli pesto pasta. All tasty pasta recipes full of flavour!
For a similar sauce to this, but without dairy, my roasted red pepper nomato sauce is super easy and very delicious!
This creamy pasta with red pepper sauce is a simple and easy to make dish, and full of flavour. The sweetness of the roasted peppers goes so perfectly with the herby basil and smooth creamy cheese. It's always a weeknight meal that my family looks forward to!
This post was updated with new photos and slight amendments to the recipe on 26 April 2022.
⭐ Why you'll love this recipe
- Made without tomatoes. Many pasta sauces are tomato-heavy but this creamy roasted red pepper sauce leaves them out, making it suitable for those who prefer a tomato-free dish.
- Comfort food. Creamy ricotta and pasta are always a good combination I think! Enjoy snuggled up on the sofa with a bowl on your lap and a good movie on.
- Easy to make. A simple sauce, this comes together fairly quickly for your evening meal.
All the ingredients and their quantities are set out in the recipe card below.
The ingredients for this red pepper pasta will give you a delicious and very easy to make vegetarian dinner to enjoy! The main ingredients you will need are:
- Red bell peppers: the main ingredient, these are used as a swap for tomatoes. Make sure they are fresh without any bruising or dents.
- White onion and garlic: the traditional flavourful base of pasta sauces. Up the amount of garlic if you are a fan!
- Basil: for that Italian-inspired pasta sauce taste. Use fresh basil leaves rather than dried for the best flavour.
- Ricotta cheese: creamy and delicious, this is a fresh cheese that is light in flavour.
📖 Gluten-free pasta options
If you prefer not to eat regular spaghetti as you are coeliac, gluten-intolerant or simply like alternative pastas, there are now lots of choose from. And this sauce works perfectly with any form of pasta, so don't worry if you don't have spaghetti to hand.
Some great gluten-free pasta:
🔪 Step by step instructions
Just a few simple steps to make this pasta dish:
Dice the bell peppers into large pieces and place on a lined baking tray. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with a little thyme. Roast for approximately 30 minutes until they are tender (image 1). If the skins have blackened, it is best to wait for them to cool a little then remove the skin.
While the peppers are roasting, fry the onion and garlic until softened (image 2).
Cook your pasta according to packet instructions, reserving a little of the pasta water.
While the pasta is cooking, add the roasted peppers, onion, garlic, basil (leave a few leaves aside for garnish), ricotta cheese and a pinch of salt to a food processor or blender (image 3). Blend until it becomes a creamy sauce (image 4). If it is too thick, add a splash of the reserved pasta water and blend again.
Drain your spaghetti, and return it to the pan. Stir through the sauce, and re-heat slightly if necessary. Add a grind of black pepper to preference (image 5).
💭 Recipe tips
- Use good quality ingredients. The sauce has fairly gentle flavours, so you want to have the freshest basil and cheese to elevate the taste!
- Adjust the consistency of the sauce with a little of the reserved pasta water if required.
- You can use most forms of pasta, it doesn't have to be spaghetti. Gluten free pasta alternatives are also good.
📋 Frequently asked questions
You can use cottage cheese instead. It will alter the flavour a little but still be delicious.
It is personal choice whether you peel bell peppers or not after roasting them. It isn't really necessary if they are being blended into a sauce unless the skins have blackened, in which case it is best to peel them.
I would suggest that roasting the bell peppers yourself gives them more flavour and is more fresh than using a jar. My low histamine readers would likely be better using peppers they roasted themselves.
🍽 More tasty pasta recipes
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Roasted Red Pepper Ricotta Pasta
- 4 oz spaghetti (dry weight)
- Preheat the oven to 200C / 390F and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Add the peppers to the tray. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle over the thyme. Roast for approximately 30 minutes until they are tender.
- While the peppers are roasting, fry the onion and garlic for 3-4 minutes until softened.
- Cook the spaghetti according to packet instructions. Reserve ¼ cup of pasta water.
- While the pasta is cooking, add the roasted peppers, onion, garlic, basil (leave a few leaves aside for garnish), ricotta cheese and a pinch of salt and black pepper (if using) to a food processor. Blend until it becomes a creamy sauce. If it is too thick, add a splash of the reserved pasta water and blend again.
- Drain your spaghetti, and return it to the pan. Stir through the sauce, and re-heat slightly if necessary. Add a grind of black pepper to preference. Serve immediately.
- Once the red peppers have roasted set aside for a few minutes to cool slightly before blending into the sauce.
- Thin the sauce with a little reserved pasta water if required.
- Feeling hungry? Adding a little more ricotta will make the sauce more filling.
- Please note that nutritional information is offered as a courtesy. It is auto-generated and should be understood to be an estimate.
- spaghetti, for which wheat scores 1 and has a ? as a liberator.
- garlic, which scores 1.
- black pepper, which scores 2. The SIGHI list states that small amounts are well tolerated.