Simple Penne With Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce

I make a lot of pasta, which means I make a lot of pasta sauce. Whether it’s a no-recipe-recipe with tons of veggies and an herby sauce, a riff on an Alfredo, a. creamy pesto or this Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce, I absolutely love home-making sauces and experimenting with different combinations.

This sauce is beyond simple to make, tastes better than something you’d order at a restaurant and looks absolutely gorgeous. The best part is how quickly it comes together – it takes just about as long to make the sauce as it does to cook the pasta, which means that this entire dish is ready in less than 15 minutes.

The recipe below’ll tell ya how to make the sauce, which is perfectly perfect on its own, but if you feel like adding mushrooms (like I did) or another veggie (spinach would be great here), you can cook those while the veggies roast and the pasta boils and you’ll end up with an even heartier dish without upping your cooking time.

*One note about this sauce: the recipe calls for a package of cherry tomatoes. The tomatoes I get at the store are the larger cherry tomatoes, not the smaller ones that are usually called ‘grape’ tomatoes because of their size, which I don’t recommend using, as they don’t take the same amount of time to roast as the rest of the veggies (they’re too darn tiny!). Find the cherry tomatoes (they’re usually packaged on the vine), or use 3-4 quartered Roma tomatoes if those aren’t available. Happy roasting!

Simple Penne With Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce

Course dinner, lunch
Cuisine Italian, Mediterranean
Keyword comfort food, hearty, pasta
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce

  • 2 red peppers halved, stems and seeds removed
  • 1 package cherry tomatoes
  • 4 garlic cloves peeled
  • 5 sprigs thyme leaves stems discarded
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes or less, for less spice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Other Ingredients

  • 1 box penne pasta
  • 1 bunch basil leaves chiffonaded
  • olive oil


  1. Pre-heat your oven to broil. Meanwhile, bring. large pot of water to a boil.

  2. On a sheet pan, arrange your roasted red pepper, tomatoes and garlic, and dress them with the thyme, crushed red chili flakes, salt and pepper and olive oil to coat.

  3. When the oven is preheated, pop your veggies in and cook for 10 minutes, giving the pan a good shake half-way through. Simultaneously, add a few tsp salt to your boiling pasta water and add your pasta to the pot. Stir in some olive oil and cook the pasta for 10 minutes, or untl just al dente.

  4. When the veggies are done cooking, remove the tray from the oven and pop the veggies into a blender. Meanwhile, drain your cooked pasta and return the noodles to the hot pot.

  5. Blend the veggies until they're silky smooth. Add the sauce to the hot noodles and stir to combine. Add the cream and stir to combine. Add the cheese and – you guessed it – stir to combine.

  6. Transfer the pasta and sauce to a serving dish, and top generously with more grated parmesan and the fresh basil. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately.

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