Roasted Red Pepper Pesto Linguine with Kale and Feta

Red Pepper  Pesto Linguine with Kale and Feta

Thank you all for the sweet birthday wishes (and especially the surprise poem from Alex!). It is an honor to know so many loving, sweet, and inspiring people as yourselves — readers, bloggers, friends, and family alike.

A friend of mine asked a question this year — what was the most memorable part of your last year? Without a doubt, travelling to Cambodia and writing a cookbook leaped to mind. It was amazing, incredible, heart-wrenching, terrifying and exhilarating all in one. It’s one of hardest things I’ve ever done, but truly one of the most rewarding.

If you’re new to this space, the long and short of it is that this past March, after learning about the issue of human trafficking and feeling called to do anything we could to help, Alex and I traveled across the world to learn more and to visit a culinary training program for at-risk women, with the goal of writing a benefit cookbook to aid the program there.

Even now telling the story, I almost don’t believe that it happened. In so many ways, it was fulfillment of a life-long dream. As a girl I was young and idealistic, constantly dreaming up ways I could “make a difference” and do something good for humanity. And I always had wanted to write a book.

It’s all well and good to be a dreamer as a teenager, but where does that take you in your 20’s? I had a hard time in that decade, bouncing from one thing to the next, trying to understand where to direct my passion as it spewed everything in its path.

Thankfully, that passion nozzle finally got tightened and after lots of seeking, questions, tears, and prayers, the cookbook opportunity arose. It was exceedingly difficult to put together (my favorite image is me reading the entire book out loud to Alex the night before sending it to the printer!) — but in every way exactly the thing we were supposed to be doing.

It was a year of deep gratitude — to this opportunity, all the people who made it possible, and the sweet wonderful women in Cambodia who let us into their lives. And to all of you out there searching and dreaming big dreams, I want to encourage you — keep dreaming!  It may take some time (years, maybe!), but you’ll find your calling.

And now, some pasta!  This recipe is a delicious little meal we dreamed up as part of a Valentine’s Day meal to cook with loved ones. We love the zesty red pepper pesto (we adapted it from our Roasted Red Pepper Pita Pizzas) — it’s an interesting alternative to a tomato-based sauce. We added some kale for some nice nutrients and a bit of texture. Paired with salty feta and crunchy walnuts, it’s a delicious and fancy-looking entree!


Roasted Red Pepper Pesto Linguine with Kale and Feta

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)



  • 12-ounce jar roasted red peppers
  • 12 sundried tomatoes packed in oil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound whole wheat linguine
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • 4 ounces feta crumbles


  1. Drain the jar of red peppers. In a food processor or blender, combine 12 ounces roasted red peppers, 12 sundried tomatoes packed in oil, 1 tablespoon olive oil, ½ cup walnuts, and ½ teaspoon kosher salt.
  2. Boil the pasta, according to the package instructions.
  3. Wash the kale, remove the stems and chop the leaves. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and add one pinch red pepper flakes. Add the kale, then saute until bright green. Add a pinch of kosher salt.
  4. In a dry skillet, toast about 1/2 cup walnuts over medium heat, stirring often, until the nuts are fragrant and toasted, about 3 to 4 minutes (be careful that they do not burn).
  5. When the pasta and kale are done, add the kale to the pasta. Mix as much pesto as desired into the pasta (you may have to taste and adjust quantities). Top with toasted walnuts, feta crumbles, and a bit of olive oil.


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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.


  • Reply
    Rochelle @
    February 4, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    I’ve really been loving walnuts with pasta lately. This looks great!

  • Reply
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    February 5, 2013 at 6:13 am

    I LOVE the sound of this! Gorgeous pasta and awesome recipe!

  • Reply
    February 5, 2013 at 9:22 am

    This looks so good! And happy belated birthday!

    • Reply
      February 7, 2013 at 8:54 pm

      Thank you, Jeanine!

  • Reply
    February 5, 2013 at 10:52 am

    Happy belated birthday! This looks delicious!

    “bouncing from one thing to the next, trying to understand where to direct my passion as it spewed everything in its path.”

    This really hit home for me. I’m so glad you were able to direct your talents and passion in a way that did so much good for so many. You should really be proud; what a great way to begin your 30’s. You rock!

    • Reply
      February 7, 2013 at 8:53 pm

      Thank you so much, Meghan! That is so sweet of you to say! I am glad to know there are others who can identify with the struggle in the search for finding your calling/passions. Best of luck to you on your journey too!

  • Reply
    Mara @ Elemental Custard
    February 5, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    That sounds fantastic! I love any type of pesto :)

  • Reply
    February 5, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    Happy belated birthday – what an incredible year you’ve had! Love this pasta, filled with some of my very favourite flavours.

    • Reply
      February 7, 2013 at 8:45 pm

      Thank you, Kathryn!

  • Reply
    Deanna Brzeg
    February 5, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    All I can say is yummy!

  • Reply
    Courtney Jones
    February 5, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    Pasta is definitely my weakness. And this looks delicious! Roasted Peppers and Feta are so yummy together. Gorgeous photo! :)

  • Reply
    Rachael {Simply Fresh Cooking}
    February 5, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    Love this post and love this beautiful dish!!! Very inspiring! Xo

  • Reply
    February 5, 2013 at 10:58 pm

    This came at the absolute perfect time! I didn’t menu plan or grocery shop this week because of Courtney’s surprise visit, but I did get two red peppers in my green bin and was trying to decide on a use for them. This sounds amazingly delicious! Trying it ASAP.

    • Reply
      February 7, 2013 at 8:44 pm

      Ooo awesome! I hope it works out! And we just did the lazy way with jarred peppers :)

  • Reply
    February 6, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    YUM. this might be a stupid question, but for the jar of roasted peppers, are you supposed to include the liquid in it?

    • Reply
      February 6, 2013 at 10:56 pm

      Sorry — drain the liquid!

    • Reply
      February 12, 2013 at 3:19 pm

      I’ve updated the recipe to specify to drain the peppers. Great catch!

  • Reply
    February 18, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    I just made this tonight exactly as written. It was delicious! I loved the red pepper pesto. Thanks for another great recipe

  • Reply
    February 26, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    DELISH!!! Made this with brown rice linguini and served with a grilled chicken breast. My husband and I both loved it!! I love cooking and am always on the hunt for new, healthy recipes. I’m excited to add this to my collection and to try more of your great sounding/looking, healthy recipes. Thank You!!

    • Reply
      February 26, 2013 at 2:45 pm

      Awesome! You are so welcome. It is our pleasure — and we’re so glad you liked it!

  • Reply
    April 17, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    Yum! Had this for dinner last night, it was beautiful. i roasted the red peppers in the oven and used spinach and zucchini instead of kale.

    • Reply
      April 18, 2013 at 11:03 pm

      So glad you enjoyed it, Sophie! Thanks for writing.

  • Reply
    January 2, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    I’ve had this on my Pinterest for an age and decided it would make a great start to my new year to cook something new. SO DELICIOUS! Thannk you!

    Now what else to make from your amazing site?!

    • Reply
      January 2, 2014 at 7:40 pm

      So glad you enjoyed it, Aggie! Let us know if you try out anything else. All the best!

    • Reply
      January 2, 2014 at 8:50 pm

      You’re welcome! Glad you enjoyed it :)

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