What do you do when you have a jar of roasted red peppers in your fridge about to go bad?
You make an easy Roasted Red Pepper Sauce, with goat cheese melted into it, and serve it with spaghetti, topped with more goat cheese and fresh basil. And a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. That’s what.
This is a super easy, simple, vegetarian recipe that only takes 25 minutes to throw together! Perfect for busy weeknights.
And to save even more time, you can make the sauce in advance and keep it in your fridge or freezer until you are ready to cook!
Which is good, because you’re going to want to eat this sauce with a spoon plain. It’s THAT good.
This roasted red pepper sauce is for all you people who don’t like tomatoes, or can’t eat them for whatever reason. You get much of the satisfaction of a bold red pasta sauce, flavored traditionally with garlic, onions, and basil, but with roasted red peppers instead of tomatoes!
And to make it extra fast and easy, I used jarred peppers rather than making my own (which is relatively easy to do, if you prefer).
When I talk about food blogging with other people, one of the questions I almost always get asked is “how do you not run out of ideas?” Honestly, I thought this might be an issue when I first started, but that has absolutely not been the case.
I have more ideas than I know what to do with!
And I think my best ideas come when I have something lingering around about to go bad that I need to use up, or a random ingredient in my pantry that’s taking up space, or a surplus of produce from my garden.
I made a couple of sandwiches a week or so ago with only a few red peppers from the jar, and it’s been in my fridge since, along with a half of a huge log of goat cheese about to go bad (because I can never resist buying large portions of cheeses at the store).
Between that, the random box of chickpea spaghetti I had in my pantry, and the fact that my basil is flowering in my garden faster than I can keep up, I knew I needed to use up these ingredients.
And so, this spaghetti with roasted red pepper sauce and goat cheese was born.
I’m so excited to have another vegetarian, fast, easy recipe to add to my weekday rotation!
While I used chickpea spaghetti for this (which is really great by the way- it’s grain free, gluten free, high protein, and lower carb than traditional pasta), you can use any spaghetti, or pasta shape, you want.
Here are some tricks I learned while I was cooking this up that may help you.
Unfamiliar with an immersion blender? It’s only one of my FAVORITE KITCHEN TOOLS EVER! It’s like a magic wand you stick right in the pot (or glass if you’re making a smoothie), press on, and it blends everything together.
No cleaning all the parts of a standing blender or food processor! Which, by the way, you can use if you don’t have an immersion blender.
Or, if you want to go really rustic, you could use a potato masher for a chunkier texture.
I blended the sauce right in the pot with the immersion blender until just before it became super smooth and creamy. I wanted a little texture to the sauce. Then, I melted a bit of goat cheese directly into the sauce to make it tangy and creamy, saving the rest to top the pasta when I served it.
While I was making the sauce, I cooked the pasta. In very salty water, of course.
Here’s an awesome tip when cooking pasta- don’t cook it all the way.
Instead, cook the pasta until one minute BEFORE the cooking time indicated on the package.
Then, transfer the pasta directly to the pan with the sauce and stir to coat. This ensures that some of the starchy water sticks to the pasta when you transfer it, rather than draining it all away.
Allow the pasta to cook for the final minute directly in the sauce. It will absorb some of the flavors from the sauce, and also release some more of the starches, thickening the sauce and ensuring it sticks to every bite.
And if it seems like the sauce is becoming too dry and thick, you can add a bit of the cooking water from the pasta to thin it out.
I also recommend drizzling a bit of extra-virgin olive oil on top of the pasta once it’s done, as well as serving it with more crumbled goat cheese, some fresh basil, and cracked black pepper. Olive oil tends to change in flavor when you heat it up, so I used half of it to make the sauce and saved the other half for drizzling.
And the crumbled goat cheese tastes just SO yummy with the slightly sweet roasted red pepper sauce. Yum.
I like to make a chiffonade of basil to garnish the spaghetti. Sounds fancy, but it isn’t. Promise.
Here’s the recipe for Spaghetti with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce and Goat Cheese. Enjoy!
Spaghetti with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce and Goat Cheese
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil divided
- 1 large yellow onion halved and thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic roughly chopped
- 16 oz. jar roasted red peppers
- 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves packed
- kosher salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- 8 oz. spaghetti see notes
- 4 oz. soft goat cheese (chevre) crumbled, divided
- extra fresh basil for garnish (optional)
- Cook pasta according to directions on package in very salty water, stopping cooking one minute before cooking time indicated on package for al dente.
- Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, sauté the onions in 2 tablespoons of the extra-virgin olive oil over medium heat, until softened and starting to turn brown and slightly caramelized (about 5 minutes).
- Add the minced garlic and sauté until fragrant (about 30 seconds.)
- Add the roasted red peppers (including the liquid from the jar), and basil leaves. Sauté until basil leaves have wilted (about 1 minute).
- Using an immersion blender, blend the sauce together directly in the pot until desired texture is reached. I stopped blending just before it got super creamy, so some texture remained.
- Add half of the crumbled goat cheese to the sauce and stir until melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Transfer pasta directly from the cooking pot to the sauce, along with 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water, and allow to finish cooking for the last minute or so in the sauce, stirring together to coat the spaghetti. Add more pasta water if the sauce looks dry.
- Serve drizzled with remaining extra-virgin olive oil and remaining crumbled goat cheese. Garnish with chiffonade cut basil, and some fresh cracked black pepper, if desired.
- Don't have an immersion blender? You can use a standing blender or a food processor as an alternative. Or, you can use a potato masher for a very rustic textured sauce (if you do this, I recommend dicing the onions very finely and mincing the garlic with a microplane zester).
- Time Saving Tip: You can make this sauce in advance and keep in an airtight container or jar in your fridge for up to a week or freezer for up to three months.
- I used chickpea spaghetti, which is gluten free and grain free, but you can use any kind you want, or another pasta shape.
- The provided nutrition information does not include any added sodium from seasoning to taste, any optional ingredients, and it does not take brands into account. Feel free to calculate it yourself using this calculator or by adding the recipe to Yummly.
Nutrition Information Disclaimer
The provided nutrition information is my best estimate and does not include any added sodium from seasoning to taste, any optional ingredients, and it does not take brands into account. I use an automatic API to calculate this information. Feel free to calculate it yourself using one of these tools: