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Angel Hair Pasta with Red Pepper Pesto and Basil

Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson (an F&W Best New Chef 2005) creates a simple summery sauce by blending roasted red peppers with traditional pesto ingredients, like basil and pine nuts, to toss with cool angel hair pasta. The pesto freezes beautifully and is also delicious spread on grilled cheese sandwiches or swirled into soups


slideshow  More Healthy Pasta Recipes


  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

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  • 3 medium red bell peppers
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts
  • 1 small garlic clove, smashed
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves, plus 2 tablespoons chopped basil
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 pound angel hair pasta
  • 1/2 cup shaved pecorino cheese


  1. Roast the red peppers over a gas flame or under the broiler, turning occasionally, until charred all over. Transfer the peppers to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let cool. Peel, core and chop the peppers.
  2. In a small skillet, toast the pine nuts over moderate heat until golden, about 4 minutes. Let cool.
  3. Transfer the peppers and pine nuts to a blender. Add the garlic and whole basil leaves and blend until coarsely chopped. Add the olive oil and puree to a chunky pesto. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and cool slightly under running water. Transfer the pasta to a bowl and toss with the pesto. Season the pasta with salt and pepper. Top with the chopped basil and pecorino and serve at room temperature.

Suggested Pairing

Citrusy, peppery Spanish Verdejo.

Contributed By Photo A© Lucy Schaeffer Published August 2008

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