Sweet Pepper and Caramelized Onion Tomato Pasta

Bright red sweet peppers, onions and garlic, tossed with marinara sauce, rigatoni and parmesan cheese. This pasta is yummy, comforting and packed with flavor. Add in a few chili flakes for a hint of heat and this is one outstanding pasta.

The inspiration

The inspiration for the dish was two fold – a recipe in Food and Wine magazine for rigatoni amatriciana which is a pasta made with onions, parmesan, pancetta, chili flakes, and crushed tomatoes. The second inspiration was a beautiful bag of bright red Jimmyy Nardello sweet peppers that came in my farm box.

The recipe

I decided to make my own pasta and cooked onions and sweet peppers until tender and slightly caramelized about 15 minutes. Added lots of garlic and some chili flakes. Then to the vegetables added a jar of marinara sauce and combined them with cooked rigatoni. Warmed the dish through and garnished with lots of Parmesan cheese. It’s sweet, tangy, a touch spicy and just plain feel-good pasta. Give it a try!

Sweet Pepper and Caramelized Onion Tomato Pasta


  • 1 lb Jimmy Nardello peppers cut into 1 inch pieces. Or 2 sweet red bell peppers finely cut.
  • 1 large white onion finely cut
  • 5 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 jar marinara sauce
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1lb rigatoni pasta
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Basil or parsley for garnish


In a large pot warm olive oil and butter. Add the onions and peppers and saute for about 15 minutes until the onions are tender and slightly browned. Then add the garlic and fry for about a minute until you get the aroma of garlic. Next add the jar of marinara sauce and warm the sauce.

While the vegetables are cooking cook the pasta according to package directions. Save some pasta water to use in the sauce.

Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and mix-in. Add a cup of pasta water if the pasta sauce is too thick. Taste and adjust for salt.

Transfer to a serving bowl. Top with generous amount of parmesan cheese and garnish with basil or parsley.


6 thoughts on “Sweet Pepper and Caramelized Onion Tomato Pasta”

  1. Oh doll baby! I should definitely make this for my Son …..He loves Pasta and I am sure the Red Chillies add Zing to this dish .

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