This red pesto pasta recipe is creamy, tangy, bright and so so flavourful. Thanks to the food processor, you just throw all of the ingredients in and you’re good to go!
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You can make this red pesto in under 5 minutes, which means that it’s ideal for a weeknight pasta dish. It’s also versatile, as you can add it to salads as a dressing, spread on toast or coat vegetables in it.
My favourite way is of course to enjoy it as a red pesto pasta sauce though. Serve with a side of greens and you have a perfectly balanced meal, ideal for lunch or dinner!
Other easy pesto pasta recipes for you to try …. Broccoli Pesto Orzo, Gnocchi with Pesto and Charred Courgette and Spinach Pesto Gnocchi with Rocket
The foundation of this red pesto is roasted red peppers. They’re sweet and packed full of nutrients and provide a vibrant red colour.
This homemade pesto is more budget-friendly than a lot of other recipes, as I use cashews which are a lot cheaper than pine nuts and pistachios. You can use these interchangeably though if you have them on hand.
The parmesan brings the umami savoury flavour and the lemon brings a tangy contrast to the rich, nutty, creamy flavours and both provides a cheesy creaminess to the red pesto pasta sauce.
Orzo is a rice-shaped pasta. Pesto is pretty versatile with the type of pasta shape you want to use, so I’d go for your favourite shape with this recipe.
See the recipe card for full information on all ingredients and quantities.
PREHEAT OVEN TO 200°C
3. After 25 minutes the peppers should be roasted and slighted charred (Image 3).
4. Next, add the roasted peppers, cashews, garlic, parmesan, lemon juice, salt and red pepper flakes into a food processor (Image 4).
5. Start to blend and slowly stream the extra virgin olive oil into the mix. Taste to see if it needs any more salt or lemon juice (Image 5).
6. Add the pesto to a bowl or container ready to use (Image 6).
7. Add the pesto to the cooked orzo, adding a ladle of pasta water to loosen (Image 7).
8. Stir together and serve with an extra sprinkle of parmesan and enjoy! (Image 8).
Store the homemade pesto for up to a week in the fridge or freeze for up to 6 months.
As we’re missing the green element of the pesto with this roasted red pepper pesto, I love serving this recipe with a side of greens. Greens that would work well with this recipe: Parmesan Tenderstem Broccoli with Garlic Butter
This is a matter of preference! Red pesto is sweeter and tangier, than green pesto thanks to the red peppers. It’s also often spicier, due to the red pepper flakes/chillies being added. If you love basil as the overriding flavour of your pesto, you may prefer green pesto.
There is an array of nutrients in red pesto, with red peppers, cashews, lemon, extra-virgin olive oil and garlic being nutrient dense. Cashews and extra-virgin olive oil are also a great source of healthy fats. It is quite densely caloric due to the high level of fats, but when eaten alongside vegetables and eaten in a smaller serving size, it’s still healthy!
Yes you can enjoy the red pesto hot or cold! To enjoy cold, serve on toast or combine with some extra oil to form a salad dressing.
If you have a nut allergy, you can omit the nuts and the pesto will still be delicious. You can just up the parmesan slightly to increase the creaminess.
If you tried this Easy Red Pesto Pasta recipe, it would be mean so much to me if you could leave a review & a star rating to let me know how you found it! I love hearing about your experiences – it motivates me to keep creating more and more recipes for you guys 💛 Let’s get cooking! – Mimi x