One-Pot Penne with Roasted Red Pepper and Garlic

Penne pasta with roasted red peppers, fresh oregano and grated Parmesan cheese.
Level Of Effort: Easy

Not too many people who visit the Café care about being the next Top Chef.

Truth be told, most visitors are probably trying their best to ace eating well on a crazy schedule, and want little to do with a cooking experience that resembles an intense Gordon Ramsey cooking show.

That’s why we think we slightly messed up with this savory Penne pasta recipe.

Sure, this one-pot recipe is as easy to make as 2-minute mac and cheese – where you stir in the irresistible powdered cheese dust.

But we feel slightly guilty because we topped this quick fix dinner with the fresh oregano from the Cafe’s outdoor garden.

Because unless you have a garden, are into hydroponics, or enjoy over-paying for fresh herbs at the grocery store, then using fancy fresh oregano is NOT a great topping suggestion for simplicity.

Sprinkling penne pasta with grated Parmesan cheese.

What I’m trying to say is a spoonful of that jarred pesto in the fridge or a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese will also work just fine!

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One-Pot Penne with Roasted Red Pepper and Garlic

Makes: 4 servings ~ Time: 10 minutes to prepare, 10 minutes to cook


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed (use a garlic press to do this)
  • 2 cups uncooked Pennette Rigate (or any small pasta) (7 oz. / 200 g)
  • 2 roasted red peppers from a jar, chopped
  • 1 or 2 Tbsp. of a chopped fresh oregano (or something colorful that goes well with pasta)
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Pinch or two crushed red chili flakes (optional)
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Heat oil, in a large pot over medium-low heat just until oil is hot, about 1 minute. Add crushed garlic. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Cook and stir for one minute making sure not to brown the garlic. Drain garlic-flavored oil in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Fill the same potwith enough water to cook pasta (a short-cut is to heat the water in a kettle while making the garlic oil, so the water is already hot when it goes in the pot). Bring water to a boil, and cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.
  3. Return drained pasta to pot. Add oil-garlic mixture, roasted red peppers, and oregano. Toss to coat pasta. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Finish with desired amount of Parmesan cheese and red chili flakes (if using).


One Pot Penne with Roasted Red Pepper and Garlic
Brent Garell testing the food at College Recipe Cafe

Hi I’m Brent. Thanks for visiting the Café! If you would like to see more one-pot recipes like this, let us know in the comments or simply like it on one of our social feeds 👇 Cheers!

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