Spicy roasted red pepper pasta sauce

I love pasta, it must be a carb thing, although I am gluten intolerant the quality of gluten-free pasta has vastly improved over the last few years. This is great news for those of us gluten-free vegans.

There is something beautiful about roasted peppers, especially when done yourself. In the summer make use of the barbeque to char them. They also roast well in the oven. Peel away the skin to reveal the now lovely sweet flesh. Along with a few magic main ingredients such as fresh basil, garlic, onions and cashews, it makes a creamy vegan sauce that is nutritious and much better than a mass-produced jar version.

This sauce is

  • Creamy
  • Tangy
  • Delicious
  • Silky
  • Spicy
  • Nutritious

What more do you need?

I didn’t want to go down the route of making a roux-based sauce. I wanted to keep it lighter and healthier. I am pretty new to using cashew nuts to make creamy sauces. In this recipe, they work so work.

I like my pasta sparingly coated with the sauce, all the flavours clinging lovingly to the pasta. I am not a fan of pasta swimming in sauce. This sauce would also work well as a pasta salad eaten cold. I added a few tablespoons of vegan mayonnaise and it worked so well.

The sauce does not blow your head off hot but is just tingly on the tongue and warming in the throat.


  • The pasta Use the pasta of your choice, I like Rigatoni, Linguine or Spaghetti. Gluten-free pasta works just as well if needed.
  • Shelf life If you are not cooking for 4 then this freezes so well for up to 3 months in freezer bags, it also keeps for up to 5 days in the fridge in an airtight container. It is a great sauce to batch cook and divide up, sometimes I make double the amount.
  • The Heat I must admit I am a bit of a wimp when it comes to chillies so I add just 1, if you like things a little spicier then add 2 or more.
  • Garlic If you do not have any fresh garlic you can add 2 teaspoons of lazy garlic or puree.
  • Basil For this recipe you need fresh basil.
  • Nutritional yeast This is a fabulous ingredient and I would say essential to have in a vegan kitchen. It adds a cheesy flavour or a savoury tang in recipes. I would advise you to purchase the one with added vitamin B12, this is great for anyone following a vegan diet.

Spicy roasted red pepper pasta

Vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free and gluten-free

  • Preparation Time 15 Minutes
  • Cooking Time 45 Minutes
  • Serves 4


  • 4 red peppers
  • 4 large cloves of peeled garlic
  • 1-2 deseeded red chillies
  • 1 red onion quartered
  • 1 shallot sliced in half
  • 100g cashew nuts
  • 500 ml oat milk
  • 3 tbsp of nutritional yeast
  • 100 g of jarred roast peppers
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tsp of smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper
  • A handful of fresh basil leaves.
  • pinch of red pepper flakes

Dry pasta, enough for up to 4 people


The Sauce

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 C
  2. Place your cashews in some boiling water and leave them to soak while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  3. To an oven tray, add the red peppers, season well and rub with a little olive oil. Place into the hot oven and roast for 20 minutes.
  4. Once the peppers have had 20 minutes of roasting remove them from the oven. Turn the peppers over and add the whole garlic cloves, onion and shallot to the pan and place back into the oven for another 20 minutes.
  5. Whilethese ingredients are roasting, it is time to cook the pasta. If you are not using the sauce straight away you can cook the pasta when needed. Once ithe water reaches a rolling boil then add pasta of your choice. This sauce makes 4 servings so add the amount of pasta depending on how many you are cooking for. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.
  6. Once the pasta is ready drain reserve some of the cooking water and return the pasta to the pot.
  7. Remove the tray from the oven, the peppers should be beautifully charred, leave the peppers to cool slightly (you could place them into a reusable plastic bag, this makes them easier to remove the skin).
  8. Once they are slightly cool, remove the skin from the peppers and discard seeds and core.
  9. To a high speed blender add the peppers, garlic, onion and shallot, blend for a few minutes.
  10. Drain the cashews and add them to the blender with the oat milk and the rest of the ingredients apart from the jarred peppers,. Blitz until you have a smooth sauce. If it is too thick then add some of the reserved pasta water. Adjust the seasoning to taste.
  11. Pour over the pasta the amount you need and toss through to coat the pasta. Place on low heat to warm and add the jarred peppers if you are using them.
  12. Serve with some cracked black pepper, vegan parmesan and some fresh basil.

 If you like this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Twitter as @veganalchemist1 or my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/thegfveganalchemist I love seeing your versions of my recipes and love hearing your comments

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