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Rigatoni with Red Pesto Sauce and Parmesan
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4.81 from 21 votes

Red Pesto Pasta

Red Pesto Pasta is made with pantry staples and comes together in just 20 minutes. Add veggies or your protein of choice, and this easy weeknight pasta will become a family favorite. 
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Diet: Vegetarian
Servings: 6
Calories: 414kcal


  • Food processor
  • Large Soup Pot or Dutch Oven


  • 1 lb. dry pasta of choice
  • 1 cup roasted red peppers (from a jar of whole roasted red peppers)
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained
  • ¼ cup pitted green olives
  • 3 Tbsp. pine nuts (sub chopped walnuts)
  • 3 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese (sub nutritional yeast if making vegan)
  • 2 garlic cloves (sub 1 tsp. garlic powder)
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Optional: Sauteed mushrooms, spinach, and/or protein of choice for serving (shrimp, grilled chicken, meatballs, etc.)


  • Cook pasta in salted water until al dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta cooking water prior to draining.
  • While pasta cooks, combine roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, green olives, pine nuts, Parmesan, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper in a food processor. Blend until smooth while gradually streaming in olive oil.
  • Drain pasta and return to pot. Add pesto and ½ cup reserved pasta water; stir continuously until pesto begins clinging to noodles. Add more pasta water as needed to achieve desired consistency.
  • Garnish pasta with additional Parmesan cheese and basil, and serve with sauteed veggies or protein of choice, if desired.



Store in an airtight container refrigerated for up to 4 days. 


Calories: 414kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 560mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g