Looking to switch up your pasta dinner routine? Give this Creamy Rigatoni with Roasted Peppers and Ricotta Sauce recipe a try. Roasted peppers provide so much flavor and ricotta adds the creaminess!! I love garnishing my plate with fresh parsley, freshly grated parmesan cheese and cracked pepper.
Roasted Pepper Sauce with Ricotta
This roasted pepper sauce with ricotta is creamy, delicious and so flavorful. You can use other pasta type with this sauce. I love rigatoni and penne pasta but feel free to use your favorite pasta. Tubular pasta works best with this sauce.
I tend to use 3 bell peppers, they can be different colors but I prefer red, orange or yellow not green for this recipe.
Roast or air fry the peppers until they are slightly charred. Let the peppers cool down to touch then peel and add to a blender. I like to peel the peppers right above the blender so any juices from the peppers go in the blender as well. That’s part of the flavor and it helps with blending as well.
Blend the peppers and their juice until creamy. Set the roasted peppers puree aside.
Saute minced garlic in olive oil until garlic is aromatic. Then add pureed peppers, lower temperature to low. You want the sauce to cook but not splatter. In the meantime, puree one tomato and add to the sauce. Finally after the sauce cooks for about 10 minutes on low, add ricotta and herbs plus salt/pepper.
While you’re preparing the sauce, cook the pasta in boiling water until al dente. Follow package instructions as it seems lately, different brands have slightly different cooking times. However, rule of thumb is about 10 minutes!
Add cooked rigatoni with a slotted spoon over the sauce. If sauce is too thick, add a little of the pasta water to loosen it. Serve warm:).
Tips and Notes
Here are some additional tips for this creamy rigatoni recipe with roasted peppers and ricotta sauce.
- Pan size – if you’re cooking for the whole family, pick a big enough pan to hold the whole pasta and sauce.
- Seasonings – don’t overseason this dish, peppers, garlic and ricotta plus the herbs give enough flavor in my opinion. If you would like to add some spice, add red pepper flakes.
- Creamy Sauce – if you don’t like ricotta, you can use cream to make the sauce creamy.
- Onions – I don’t add onion to this sauce, but you can add half a red onion or one shallot. Chop it in small cubes and saute it with the garlic before you add the pureed peppers in.
Rigatoni in Creamy Pepper Sauce with Ricotta
- 3 bell peppers, red, orange and yellow
- 16 ozs rigatoni
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tomato preferably already soft
- 2 tbsps olive oil extra virgin
- 1 cup ricotta
- 0.5 tsp thyme
- 0.5 tsp Italian seasoning
- 0.5 tsp black pepper, freshly cracked usually add this to taste
- salt add to taste
- 1 cup parmesan cheese, divided
- 3 tbsps parsley
- Roast the bell peppers at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until charred. You can air fry them or use a convection oven. You can even grill the peppers. Let the peppers cool until you're able to handle them with your hands.
- Peel the peppers over the blender, juice and pepper flash go in the blender, peels and seeds on the plate right next to it. Trying to catch the liquid from the peppers will accentuate the flavor of the sauce.
- Blend peppers and juice until creamy. Set the puree aside.
- Boil water and salt on a pasta pot, add rigatoni and let cook until al dente. Usually 10 minutes for the type of pasta I buy.
- Get a large pan or skillet. Heat olive oil and add minced garlic. Once garlic is aromatic and becomes golden around the edges, add pepper puree. Turn heat to low and mix everything well with a wooden spoon.
- Blend the tomato and pour the tomato puree on the pan as well. Once the sauce cooks on very low heat for about 10 minutes or so (if it's still splattering, cover with a lid) than add salt, thyme, Italian seasoning, black pepper and mix it all together.
- Add ricotta to sauce and mix well to incorporate and make the sauce creamy. Sauce will thicken up once you add ricotta.
- Use a slotted spoon and slowly transfer cooked rigatoni from pasta pot to sauce pan. If sauce is too thick add few tablespoons of pasta water as needed to thin the sauce. Mix slowly almost as if you are folding the pasta into the sauce. Top off with half a cup of parmesan cheese and garnish with fresh parsley right before serving.
- Place the rest of parmesan cheese on the table so everyone can add to their individual plates. Enjoy with garlic bread and a salad:).
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Some people prefer replacing ricotta with cottage cheese, it has less calories and milder flavor. I suggest trying it in one serving and see if you like the flavor before making a whole family meal with it. However, yes it’s a great substitute.
My favorite type of pasta for this sauce are rigatoni and penne. You can also use ziti, paccheri or chifferi. Any tubular type pasta will do!
You can serve this pasta dish with garlic bread and a simple salad. Garnish the pasta with fresh parsley and top it off with freshly grated parmesan cheese and pepper.
If you would like to save this recipe for later, please save the below image to your boards in Pinterest. Let me know in comments if you made the recipe, if you have any questions or comments. I really appreciate you reading my blog and recipes!! Thank you!!
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