Penne with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce & Spinach

This sauce is red, but has no tomatoes in it.

Serves 4

Kitchen equipment

• Large bowl
• Measuring cup, measuring spoons
• Cutting board & cutting knife
• 11 X 13 inch baking pan (or other large baking dish of similar size)
• Medium-large pot, with lid
• Wooden spoon
• Oven mitts
• Large pot with lid
• Large sieve for draining pasta


• 4 red bell peppers, halved, seeded, and roughly chopped
• 2 large onions, roughly chopped
• 1 whole head of garlic, cloves separated and peeled
• ¼ cup olive oil
• Sea salt & freshly-ground pepper, to taste
• 1 454 g (1 lb) box of penne (use gluten-free, if necessary)
• A few handfuls of baby spinach
• 2-3 tsp dried oregano
• Grated Parmesan for serving (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Toss the peppers, onion, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper together in a large bowl until well coated. Pour into a large baking pan.  Roast, stirring once or twice, until peppers are softened and caramelized, about 1 hour.

3. Transfer the roasted vegetables to a blender and purée until smooth. Add a bit of hot water from a recently-boiled kettle, if it’s too thick. Taste and add more salt and pepper to taste.

4. Pour the sauce into a medium-large saucepan and reheat gently, stirring occasionally. Add the oregano.

5. Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water. Drain, keeping about a cup of the pasta water. Return the pasta to the pot and toss with the reheated red pepper sauce (you may not need all of it) and the baby spinach and some of the reserved pasta water, if necessary. Serve immediately. Pass grated Parmesan for those who want it.

Adapted from The Best of Chef at Home, by Michael Smith (2009)


Red Pepper Spinach Penne is on the left, Tomato Bacon Penne on the right.


One thought on “Penne with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce & Spinach

  1. Pingback: Pasta Night at Halifax Supper Club |

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