One of the fundamental rules of cooking is to never cook anything for guests that you have not made at least once before. This is a direct corollary to Murphy’s law, the gist of which is that “Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong”.

I, however, being the gun-toting, motorcycle-riding, leather-wearing law-breaker that I am, have a mantra that goes something along the lines of “Bring. It. On.”

So when I asked Justin over for dinner last weekend, I didn’t make pulled pork, spaghetti carbonara, or one of the other 138 recipes that I have posted on the blog over the past 10 months. There was no time for that. I had three red bell peppers in the fridge. And I knew how to use them.

Now if you think that I essentially played it safe by making a pesto sauce, I have to say that I beg to differ. Pesto can be quite a controversial sauce. People can have strong reactions to it due to the abundance of raw garlic and basil. I understand. Some of us just have more well-refined palates than others. Not that I’m judging.

Anyway, Murphy’s Law notwithstanding, the meal went off without a hitch. I had a lot of fun roasting the bell peppers over the burner campfire-style. The pesto sauce came together really nicely, with the sweetness of the peppers subduing the intensity of the basil.

And Justin said he really liked it. Which was what I was going for all along.

Linguine with Roasted Red Pepper Pesto
Serves 4, adapted from Food and Wine

3 medium red bell peppers
1 tbsp pine nuts
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup basil
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup parmesan, plus more for serving
1 lb broccoli
salt and pepper to taste

1. Roast the peppers over a gas flame or under a broiler. Having done the broiler method before, I decided to try using the gas flame. Call me a pyromaniac, but this way was infinitely more fun. Place the roasted red peppers in a closed container for 10 minutes, peel off the skin, de-seed, de-stem, and cut into slices.

2. Transfer the peppers and pine nuts to a food processor and blend. Add the garlic and basil. Blend some more. Add the olive oil and cheese. Blend, once more with feeling. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Preheat the oven to 400. Chop the broccoli into bite-sized pieces, spray with cooking spray, sprinkle with salt, and roast for 10 minutes.

4. Set up the water for the pasta and cook according to package instructions,

5. Mix everything together and serve with parmesan cheese.

I am submitting this to Presto Pasta Nights, which is being hosted this week by Abby of Eat The Right Stuff.

Speaking of hosting, the deadline for Regional Recipes: Scandinavia is coming up (October 20th!) so remember to send me your entries at [email protected] before then!

You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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26 Responses to Linguine with Roasted Red Pepper Pesto

  1. Lea Ann says:

    This looks really good. I follow your theory. All dinner guests turn out to be guinea pigs for a new dish I want to try.

    Love your blog.

  2. Amy says:

    You rebel!! LOL.

    For my first date with Paul, I cooked for him. I made a shrimp risotto with pesto dish. I just naturally assumed everyone liked pesto! I got lucky and he liked it, but I later discovered that it isn’t the obvious choice for a lot of people.

    Roasted peppers rule.

  3. Luigi says:

    You see cooking for a guy, in most cases will always say it’s nice. Cooking for women on the other hand, especially after you’ve been together for a while, it’s a whole different ball game. This kind of dangerous experiment with unproven foods, could have put, indeed placed your life in dire peril! Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, or one served inedible food. lol.

  4. SnoWhite says:

    Yummy! Do you think you could make it without the pine nuts, substituting some sort of bean in place? I’m allergic to nuts, so pinenuts are off limits to me — but I’d love to try this recipe.

  5. Shannon says:

    haha, i have made things i’ve never tried before for friends 🙂 luckily it hasn’t been that bad!! i do tell them ahead of time so they know they’re my testers

  6. Kevin says:

    That is one tasty and healthy looking pasta! Roasted red pepper pesto is just packed with flavour!

  7. Mari says:

    “I, however, being the gun-toting, motorcycle-riding, leather-wearing law-breaker that I am, have a mantra that goes something along the lines of “Bring. It. On.”

    Haha check you out, you’re a bad ass lol… That looks like a great dish

  8. Palidor says:

    Oh, I do that all the time too! I figure that as long as you work with familiar ingredients, chances good are you’ll produce something tasty. What a lovely pasta dish you made!

  9. Megan says:

    Why stick to a familiar recipe when you can stress yourself out and try something new? 🙂

    Congrats on a successful pesto – it looks wonderful.

  10. A great use for red peppers! I am so happy everything turned out so well!!

  11. Kim says:

    I’ve never seen a red pepper pesto before. Very pretty. I don’t follow that rule either. I’m always cooking something new. If it doesn’t work out, then there is usually something else to eat.
    Looks great!!!

  12. Ty'sMommy says:

    MMmmmm I love pesto…any kind of pesto, and I love red peppers, so I am all for this recipe! Good job!

  13. burpandslurp says:

    LOL! you and I have the same mantra. I love you! And next time I come to NYC you better cook something for me! 🙂

  14. I bought a bottle of roasted peppers, last week and they don’t come close to my own. THey were tasteless while home roasted are filled with flavor. This must have been great with your own roasted peppers.

  15. Do you know I have never roasted peppers? I always thought it was too much ‘trouble’. But now I’m extremely curious as to what it does for the flavor. I love pesto!! I bet this was delicious!

  16. Elra says:

    Miammm, I nver made roasted pepper pesto. I love it so much, so I’ll be making it hopefully soon!

  17. Juliana says:

    Roasted pepper? Actually I have two of them sitting in my fridge…will definitely try it…the linguini looks delicious…mouth watering 😉

  18. I love roasted peppers. What a great idea making a pesto with them.

  19. Yosha says:

    Oh wow this looks great! At this rate you are going to make me a fan of pasta! I bought pumpkins over the weekend so the pumpkin pasta first!

  20. Johanna says:

    i think pesto is brave because I don’t always get it right – even braver is roasting the peppers on the gas burners – I want to try it but never have been brave enough

  21. Debinhawaii says:

    It looks delicious! I’m with you–I like to try new things for parties. (Of course I stress about it the whole time until they try it and like it!)

  22. We never follow that rule. Our guests are test subjects. ha! It is true that it helps to do something tried and true. The pesto on this sounds really good.

  23. abby says:

    bring it on is my mantra too – it adds a bit of extra spice to ty something new! the pepper pesto is really unusual, thanks for sharing this with ppn judith.

  24. Ruth Daniels says:

    Love the post…and the dish. Like you, I’m never shy to “wing it” or try an entirely new recipe for guests. And I admit, there have been a few disasters over the years…that said, I’m still with you on your mantra!

    Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.

  25. […] years ago…Linguine with Roasted Red Pepper Pesto, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip […]

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