Chef Jeff Benda
Host of No Meat Meals

Roasted Red Pepper Pesto Pasta

Serves 8

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Travelers flock to Italy each year, often with one dish in mind: pasta. While I will argue Rome has the best carbonara, it is Florence that serves the most amazing pesto pasta. This recipe is a tribute to the city of Florence, and St. Philip Neri who was born there. Philip Neri was known for always eating small simple meals, as well as his gift of being able to bring out the best in people. This simple pasta recipe is a perfect one to make while reflecting on what we can be doing to help bring out the best in the brothers of our fraternity.

“Cast yourself into the arms of God and be very sure that if He wants anything of you, He will fit you for the work and give you strength.”

Saint Philip Neri


  • 1 jar (15.5 ounces) roasted red peppers, drained & roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
  • 1 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups thinly sliced zucchini
  • 1/4 teaspoon each salt & black pepper
  • 12 ounces spaghetti or similar pasta
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley


  1. Add the first 5 ingredients to a food processor or blender. Place on the lid and puree the pepper mixture until completely blended. 
  2. Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the zucchini, salt and pepper, and sauté for 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  3. Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions. When there is 1 minute remaining, add the peas to the pasta water so they thaw and cook a little.
  4. Drain the pasta and peas and transfer to a large serving bowl.
  5. Toss pasta noodles, peas, and zucchini with the pesto. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and parsley and serve immediately.