Red bell peppers grilled over a fire add tangy sweetness and a bit of smoke to liven up pasta with pesto. I throw in some cooked beans for protein, but you can leave them out or substitute cooked chicken if you like. This is a dish to make right now while peppers in are season. Traditional basil pesto is excellent here, but try one of the others (parsley pesto would be really good too, or my Thai pesto) if you like. With a stock of pesto in the freezer, this is an easy meal.
4 red bell peppers, thinly sliced the long way
Salt and pepper
1 lb pasta
1 cup pesto
2 cups cooked beans (optional)
Toss the peppers with a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper. Grill over low to medium heat, stirring occasionally, until tender and somewhat charred around the edges, about 15 minutes.
While the peppers grill, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta. Drain it, reserving a little of the cooking water. Stir in the pesto and beans, adding back a little cooking water if needed to thin the sauce. Then stir in the grilled peppers.