Toasted Almond and Roasted Red Pepper Pesto Pasta

Please don’t judge this recipe by the picture. It’s not the best looking pasta dish to begin with and my hopeless photography skills definitely don’t help do it any justice, but I can guarantee you that it’s worth making! I was recently asked whether I usually end up trying new recipes or cooking old favorites during the week. You can probably tell from my blog that I’m always trying new dishes or experimenting with flavor combinations, but there are a few pasta dishes that I crave often and make at least once a month. One is my peanut sauce pasta and another is this toasted almond and roasted red pepper pesto pasta. Both are very comforting dishes that are so good that I inevitably end up sneaking back to kitchen to eat more forkfuls over the pot….

This recipe comes together in 20 minutes, so it’s perfect for a quick weeknight meal. The pesto is made of shallots, garlic, toasted almonds, roasted red peppers, and tomato sauce. I threw the fresh basil in because we have an abundance of it in our little balcony herb garden right now, but I’ve also made the pasta without it, so you don’t need to buy a package of basil just for this recipe. Goat cheese is perfect on top because the creaminess balances nicely with the crunch of the almonds. So simple, but so good!

Toasted Almond and Roasted Red Pepper Pesto Pasta
Printable Recipe

1 pound whole wheat fusilli pasta
1 1/2 cups (9 ounces) whole raw almonds
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped shallots
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 12-ounce jars roasted red peppers, drained
1 1/2 cups of your favorite tomato sauce (I’m a fan of Prego)
12 fresh basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled


Preheat oven to 350ºF. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain the pasta in a colander, return it to the pot, and keep warm.

Place almonds on a cookie sheet and toast for 10 minutes at 350ºF or until almonds are golden brown.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil over medium heat and sauté shallots for 5 to 7 minutes, or until soft. Add garlic and sauté one additional minute.

Place toasted almonds, shallot mixture, red peppers, tomato sauce, basil, red pepper flakes, and salt in a food processor. Pulse until a smooth pesto forms. Toss pesto with pasta in a large pot until well mixed. Place pasta on serving dishes and garnish by sprinkling goat cheese over each serving. Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition: 489 calories, 24.8g fat, 11.8g fiber, 17.7g protein per serving
Cost: $1.28 per serving

31 Responses to Toasted Almond and Roasted Red Pepper Pesto Pasta

  1. Mmmm, I was planning spaghetti for supper tonight, but now I am TOTALLY fixing your gorgeous recipe instead!! I can’t wait to fix this tonight! Thank you for the fantastic recipe!

    I’ve always admired your photography skills! I think this photo is quite beautiful as well… I find it quite challenging to photograph brownish dishes, but you did a fantastic job highlighting the different shades and the contrast with the gorgeous goat cheese!

    P.S. Thank you so much for your incredibly sweet comment about the photo! :-) *blushing*

  2. This looks delicious! I think the picture is great – it shows the substantial sauce and the nice, white cheese. I love pasta with tomatoey sauce, and I’ve got a jar of roasted red peppers I’ve been trying to use up. Our balcony basil plant also needs to be used up, so this is perfect! School has been so busy lately that I’ve been neglecting my cooking; I think this might just be the inspiration I needed to get me back in the swing of things :)

  3. Usually it’s the worst looking food that taste the most! Honestly, This is a mouthwatering photo. Just looking at those pesto clinging on the pasta pieces is enough to make me wanna get a forkful.I love the flavor of roasted bell pepper but I haven’t tried it in pesto yet..This is brilliant.

  4. The pesto sounds so good with roasted red peppers and toasted almonds! What a great flavor contrast to the goat cheese. It looks like a really nice comfort meal.

  5. I love red pepper sauces for pasta! and the toasted almonds remind of a romescu sauce … I’ll have one plate of this right now, pretty please!!!

  6. ooh, this sounds like a dip i’ve tried with roasted red peppers and almonds, yummy! what else do you have growing in your garden?? My mom just sent me back with some baby basil plants, i’m excited for them to grow, but we need some sun!!!

  7. This looks amazing! Good think I am about to go work out, because we’re probably going to have this for dinner :) And the goat cheese on top – heaven. Love this!

  8. I LOVE this, Kerstin! I remember I made some kind of sauce like this with almond butter and red bell pepper. Yours sound so much better with the toasted almonds! YUM!

  9. This is an excellnt vegatarian pasta dish! I love all of its flavours! I bet this is also tasty with fresh sheep’s ricotta instead of the goat’s!
    Yum Yum Yum!!

  10. LOL, love it! Glad to hear I’m not the only one with a fork in their hand eating over the leftovers still in the pot! :)

    This sounds good! I love regular pesto.

  11. This is totally different from any kind of pasta I have had before. Will have to try it. And I know what you mean, sometimes the best weeknight meals are those that you can make over and over and never get tired of.

  12. This is making my mouth water! That’s why I’ve given you the Oh How Lovely Award! Check my parsley pesto post on my blog for details.

Leave a reply