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vegetables | roasted red pepper pesto pasta

Serves 3-4

Non-dairy pesto wasn't easy to make because ordinarily you'd add parmesan. Making a low-fat one wasn't easy either, because you'd usually add more oil too! But eventually we arrived at this. It's absolutely delicious and amazingly versatile: you can use it with just about everything! It tastes extremely creamy, but again, there is no cream or cheese in it.

Wheat free, dairy free, nut free, meat free version...



  1. Heat the oven to 170°C
  2. Roast the peppers in the oil for approximately 25 minutes, until soft and beginning to blacken.
  3. Put all the ingredients in the blender and whizz until becomes smooth.

Maybe serve with...

This is gorgeous served on top of a baked potato or stirred through wheat free pasta. It's also a great topping for wheat-free pizza. Simply take the wheat-free pizza base (or diagonally cut baguette) and spread with the pesto. Top with peppers, olives, more finely chopped sun dried tomato and sprinkle with oregano or basil.

For those able to eat dairy ...

You could stir a little parmesan into the mixture.

For those able to eat fish...

This is ideal served on top or to the side of good solid white fish such as nude baked cod, haddock or monkfish and served with mixed green vegetables. If you were pushed for time and had already made the pesto, you could just boil some rice, flake in some tuna and the pesto and heat through thoroughly for a one dish wonder. Similarly, you could eat it with a baked or cold salmon fillet and vegetables and/or jacket potato. Or you could add it to cooked pasta, with some cooked salmon flaked through and heated thoroughly. For 2 portions, bake a salmon fillet in an oven proof dish with a punnet of cherry tomatoes (cover with foil) on 170°C for 20-30 minutes. Whilst that is cooking, boil enough pasta (wheat or wheat free) for 2 (I usually gauge this roughly as a good handful of dry pasta per person (and a bit extra, just in case). Drain and rinse the pasta with boiling water, and whilst that is draining, heat the pesto in a saucepan and add in the cooked tomatoes. Take any skin off the salmon fillet and flake it in roughly, into the sauce. Add the pasta, stir well so that it's all thoroughly mixed through. Make sure it's heated thoroughly and serve immediately with green veg/salad and some black pepper on top. Absolutely yummy!

For those who can eat wheat...

For a quick snack, slice some ciabbata diagonally and bake as per instructions, spread with some pesto and top with a few more pine nuts (spread the pesto on before you bake if you made it the day before or it's cold) - you can also top it with any kind of ham if you wish, or lay strips of roasted other peppers across it or sprinkled with parmesan if you can eat it. And then serve with a salad - a simple salad, maybe a green bean salad or green bean and olive salad with lemon dressing.

For those who can eat meat...

Add some chopped ham to the pesto and heat thoroughly. And then stir through some pasta or rice. You can always sprinkle some more pine nuts on top and a pinch of torn basil if you have some left before serving. Also, this is equally as gorgeous teamed with baked chicken breast, which you could slice horizontally, fill with a tbsp or 2 of the pesto, then wrap the chicken breast in a bacon slice or ham and bake in a foil parcel for 30 minutes. Take the foil off and then bake 'open' for 10-15 minutes. Or if you were in more of a hurry and you'd already made the pesto, simply stir fry strips of chicken and then add some pesto when it's cooked and heat through gently and serve with some bread (wheat or wheat free baguette maybe) and some green beans.

If you have leftover red peppers, see the mango pepper boats, and the pepper paprikash. If you have sun dried tomatoes ans bsail leftover, see Scarlett's secret sauce. If you have sun dried tomatoes leftover, see the mushroom provençal, quick fling pasta, multipurpose salmon and cannelloni.

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