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Daily Ramadan Recipe #12 – Pesto pasta with mushrooms and peppers

Pesto pasta with mushrooms and peppers is a great dish to make if you feel having something vegetarian that doesn’t feel “meatless” or compromised. It is often a good idea for a dinner with mixed guests, as the flavors and textures are inviting and intriguing to almost anyone.

The quantities below feed four to five people. The dish is intended to have almost as many vegetables as pasta, so don’t be surprised by the quantity produced.



400 grams of fusilli pasta

200 grams of pesto (pure basil at first, but you can experiment with other ingredients later)

700 grams of mushrooms, cut into 2cm slices

4 peppers (2 yellow, 2 red) medium/large, sliced into 3/4th-cm rings

200ml cream (whipping or cooking)

1/4 red onion, sliced into quarter rings

1/8th-kg Parmesan cheese, thickly grated 

Olive Oil


Pepper and salt, to taste



1. Pre-heat the oven to 220C.

2. Boil water in a large pot with a bit of olive oil and a nice amount of salt (all ingredients will be added to this pot in the end so make sure it’s big enough).

3. Place the peppers and half the onion quantity into a moderately deep tray and into the oven; every now and then mix them around with a wooden spoon when they start to turn black.

4. Put the pasta into the boiling water and cover. Mix occasionally.

5. When the peppers seem to all be a bit roasted (black-ish), turn off the oven, and heat up a deep sized frying pan. Add the butter and the rest of the onions. Then add the mushrooms; make sure not to overcook them.

6. Drain the pasta and rinse it in cold water. Put the pasta pot on lowest heat possible with some butter, and return the pasta to the pot. Mix around.

7. Add the mushrooms and vegetables to the pasta in the pot. Make sure to add the pepper juice/oil from the tray, too! There should be a 60/40 pasta/vegetable ratio; if not, remove some pasta (or vice versa). Continuously mix the contents, but not too viciously.

8. Add pesto. Mix. Add cream. Mix. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix.

9. Serve dish with a nice amount of Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

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