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Roasted Red Pepper Pesto Penne and Ridiculous Brownies


Good Sunday night! Hope everyone had a nice weekend. We had some great Birthday celebrations that are going to make some terrific posts later this week, so make sure to stay tuned. I’m drooling just thinking of them!

Did everyone notice that I am now! I feel so mature now, ok maybe not, but it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while now and finally did it. No need to worry about switching it on your blogs, because Blogger automatically brings you here. I am also really excited for another blog face lift in mid October, so don’t be surprised if things look different around here in a couple weeks, can’t wait for a new look. I’m working on making it even better for everyone! Ok, enough of the small talk, bring on the food…..

First up is this fresh Roasted Red Pepper and Basil Pesto Penne dish that I put together late last week. My husband was already complaining when I told him what I was making for dinner because he claims to hate pesto. He’s crazy! Pesto is beyond delicious, especially this one! I did catch him eating it no problem, so I think he’s singing a different tune about this pesto. Although this wasn’t my boys favorite dinner, they both ate it without too many, “this doesn’t taste like spaghetti and meatballs!”

Roasted Red Pepper and Basil Pesto Penne Piccolini

½ Cup roasted red bell peppers from can or fresh

3 cloves fresh garlic

1/3 Cup parmesan cheese, grated

1/3 Cup pine nuts

1 ½ Cups basil leaves

½ teaspoon salt

½ Cup extra virgin olive oil

1 lb Penne Piccolini

¼ Cup heavy cream, if desired (I added it for a more creamy sauce, but it’s great just with the pesto as well)

1. Place roasted red peppers and garlic into food processor. Pulse until well combined. Add the parmesan, pine nuts, basil leaves and salt. With processor running, slowly drizzle in olive oil. Set aside.

2. Cook penne according to package directions. Drain and transfer to a large rimmed skillet or pot. Pour in pesto and stir. Stir in heavy cream if desired. Heat for 5 minutes or until heated through. Best served immediately.

6 servings

I couldn’t resist another sweet ending


I know, I know, more brownies. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, I can’t stop making them. These were inspired by the traditional magic bars we all make around the holidays. I decided to use an extra thick brownie instead of graham cracker crust, then added caramel pieces in the center and talk about heaven! I also drizzled a chocolate coconut sauce over the tops. I loved these brownies, but I will warn everyone that they are crazy messy. My boys had chocolate everywhere! So, be prepared to have napkins at hand!

Caramel Filled Magic Brownies

1 Box brownie mix 9×13 inch size

10 soft caramels, unwrapped and halved

2 ¼ Cups shredded sweetened coconut

14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

½ Cup chocolate chips

2 Tablespoons coconut oil (you can also use heavy cream)

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Place tin foil into an 8×8 inch baking dish. (I used a calphalon square cake pan). Spray foil generously with cooking spray. Prepare brownies according to package directions. Pour half of mix into pan. Place halved caramels evenly over brownies and pour remaining batter over caramels.

2. In a medium bowl, mix the coconut and condensed milk until well combined. Spoon evenly over top of brownies. Bake for 55-65 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean from center. Let cool for 15 minutes. Place chocolate chips into a microwave safe bowl and heat in 30 second intervals until melted and smooth. Stir in coconut oil until shiny and smooth. Pour over warm brownies and let cool completely before cutting into squares.

9 large extra thick brownies

**If using 9×13 inch pan change oven’s temperature to 350 degrees F.

Have a good one. See you all soon with some fantastic Birthday treats!

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61 Responses | Comments RSS

  1. 1
    Stephanie says:

    Oh phooey. It’s 11:00 p.m. and I’m craving some intense chocolate. Thanks a lot! 😛

  2. 2
    Clumbsy Cookie says:

    Congratulations for your dot com! You do sound more grown up, ahahah! Can’t wait to see the new look! And really how can someone claim they don’t like pesto? But if he ate it, I’m sure it was delicious. what to say about those brownies? They have everything I love and more! Chocolate, condensed milk, coconut, caramel, wow. Who cares if they’re messy?

  3. 3
    HoneyB says:

    That pasta looks so delicious! I understand your brownie “issue” 😀
    I have one with muffins (as you well know!)

  4. 4
    Patsyk says:

    Wow! You’re moving on up in the world! 😉

    Both of those recipes sound like something I would love… my boys would devour those brownies – mess and all!

  5. 5
    Tasty Trends says:

    congrats on the new website!!

    i will definitely have to try this red pepper pesto! it looks so yummy! i love pesto!

  6. 6
    carol says:

    I know the minute I tell my daughter Robin about that pasta she’ll be trying it-they LOVE pesto! It looks amazingly GOOD!
    And those brownies…..oh my God….ooey gooey YUM!
    By the way-don’t you LOVE IT when your husband says he doesn’t like something, then proceeds to eat it IN something? Mine does the same thing..I’ve gotten good at hiding things in food (like spinach-I just tell him I had a lot of parsley to use up….it worked for a while-I think he got wise to it though…)-what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him! 🙂
    You’re dot com now and you’ve got some changes ahead here, and some no doubt over-the-top birthday celebration recipes…oh boy, I can’t wait!!!!

  7. 7
    Feed the moose says:

    The brownies look like they are to die for!

  8. 8
    Colleen says:

    These both look so delicious! I can’t wait to make them both!

  9. 9
    Lisa says:

    Now they are incredible looking. This is coming from a carb loving fanatic! Good luck on your blog makeover. I am getting on ein the next week or so.

  10. 10
    Prudy says:

    Hey dot commer, that pasta looks like my kind of dinner! Can’t wait to see your new look. I can’t believe mid October is just a few weeks away.

  11. 11
    Barbara Bakes says:

    I’m really in to pesto lately too! I think an obsession with brownies is perfect normal – especially brownies like those!

  12. 12
    Katherine Aucoin says:

    Congrats on your new web address and I’m looking forward to seeing your changes. Your pasta sounds fabulous and your brownies have me drooling!

  13. 13
    Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe says:

    Your pictures are awesome! Now I will just have to give those a try.

  14. 14
    Dawn says:

    I need to upgrade to a dot com. Congrats to you! I know how exciting that can feel.
    I love this pesto. It looks sooo creamy good.
    And, I for one will never get sick of your brownies. There are so many things you can do with brownies and we have only started to explore, right? lol

  15. 15
    Allie says:

    It all looks so good. How do you stay so thin!

  16. 16
    Jenny says:

    Me too Stephanie!

    Thanks Rita,
    It only sounds more grown up! I get so bored with looking at the same thing, so I am really excited about the face lift!

    LOL Shelby,
    Yes we both have the same issue!

    Thanks Patsy!
    Yes, although the brownies are messy, they are worth it!

    Thanks Tasty Trends!

    Thanks Carol,
    I hope you like what’s coming soon!

    Thanks Feed the Moose!

    Thanks Coleen!
    Hope you enjoy both dishes.

    I think I am a carb fanatic as well Lisa! Good luck on your make-over as well!

    Thanks Prudy,
    I know how scary that mid Ocotber is not as far as it sounds!

    Thanks Katherine!

    Thanks Sandi,
    Hope you enjoy!

    Hi Dawn,
    Glad to know there is another brownie lover out there! Yah, the .com is a good “next step!”

    Hi Allie,
    I don’t! I try to exercise regularly, but I’ve got lots of work to do!

  17. 17
    Snooky doodle says:

    Ha I was just searching for a recipe with roasted peppers. This looks amazing. The brownies are to die for yummy.Nice job

  18. 18
    Satisfying my Sweet Tooth says:

    I am totally addicted to brownies lately too! In fact, I’m doing a whole brownie week on my blog next week with a new creation every day! I’m way excited, but these look SO SO good! LOVE the coconut chocolate combo too!

  19. 19
    Maria says:

    I love your sweet endings! And the pasta looks great. We roasted a bunch of peppers and put them in the freezer. I will have to bust them out for this one!

  20. 20
    Rachel says:

    These look so good! I can’t wait to try them.

  21. 21
    Ali says:

    Just found your site via a friends blog, and I just have to say, if your kids eat the dishes I’ve seen so far, they can’t be picky! I think everything looks delicious, but other than the sweets, my kids wouldn’t eat any of it! Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to enjoy the sweets!

  22. 22
    Jenny says:

    Thanks everyone!

    Glad you found my blog, but I need to make a few things clear. I don’t only make dishes for kids, I also make dishes for “my” picky palate, so don’t be surprised if everything I make is not only kid friendly. Believe it or not, my kids eat just about everything I post here, I usually post their reactions to my food. I think it varies from family to family.

  23. 23
    Mary Ann says:

    That pasta looks so amazing. Roasted Peppers are just about my favorite thing, I can’t wait to make it. Great looking sweet treat too! Can’t wait to see what changes you have up your sleeve this month!

  24. 24
    Janine says:

    That pesto looks delicious and anything that combines chocolate and caramel in my book is wonderful!

  25. 25
    nicole says:

    Ohhh this all looks good. I think your pictures can make any one drool and crave what you have posted.

  26. 26
    Deborah says:

    I’ve been wanting to change to a dot com, but they want like 1700 for the name. We both have pasta on the mind! But I could use one (or two) of those brownies!!

  27. 27
    Jenny says:

    Hi Mary Ann,
    Yes, it should be fun to see how the new design turns out.

    Thanks Janine,
    I love caramel too.

    Thanks Nicole!

    Yikes Deborah, 1700? Seriously? I don’t blame you for choosing not to do that.

  28. 28
    The Curtis Family says:

    Jenny will you STOP it with those brownies? I had my fill of my favorite chocolate-pecan pie yesterday and was all set to be GOOD this week. Then you go and post this magic brownie recipe.

    Ha ha when you call them “magic brownies” it makes it sound like something from Woodstock :).

    Congrats on your dot com!

  29. 29
    Pam says:

    Can I please come over for dinner – I’ll do the dishes. This looks like the perfect meal. Delicious pasta and unbelievable brownie. Great recipe Jenny.

  30. 30
    Beth says:

    .com hey!! good for you. The penne looks so good. My hubby claims not to like Pesto! What is it with men?

  31. 31
    The Blonde Duck says:

    I don’t know what’s better– your penne or those brownies! Yum! And Congrats!

  32. 32
    My Sweet & Saucy says:

    This pasta dish looks fabulous! I have to try this out!

  33. 33
    Tanya says:

    Oh my…where do I start? Pasta, chocolate…all my favorites. Delicious!

  34. 34
    Sara says:

    Your pasta looks amazing! Congrats on the .com! You had a great, and now an even better .com! You are moving up in the world, and you have some great talent to share with the rest of us. Your brownies look delicious, as always! I’m looking forward to your birthday treats!

  35. 35
    ~Priscilla~ says:

    jenny those brownies look so good! i have to try ’em!

  36. 36
    Bridgett says:

    I make something similar but instead of the roasted peppers, I use sun dried tomatoes. This one sounds fantastic as well and I will have to switch them up next time. Ah, delicious brownies. I would have been in heaven.

  37. 37
    Tara says:

    Oh, that looks delish! Going to have to try this!!!

  38. 38
    Katrina says:

    Both the pesto and brownies sound YUM to me! I love pesto. I don’t think my husband cares for it, but it may be because when I make it I usually don’t have a big piece of meat on the side, so I think it’s just not “enough” for him.
    The brownies look to-die-for!
    I made pb cookies with Oreos today and another version, killer chocolate cookies with Oreos yesterday. They are SO good!

  39. 39
    Bob says:

    It all looks wicked good, but I’m definitely trying that pesto. I’m a sucker for roasted peppers.

  40. 40
    Jenny says:

    Thanks for all the great comments! I love reading them all.

  41. 41
    Emily says:

    I could live on pesto! (poor hubby) You always have the SWEETEST endings! Love it!

    Congrats on the .com!!! Very exciting!

  42. 42
    That Girl says:

    I am craving creamy pasta goodness. This looks just about right!

  43. 43
    Aggie says:

    Yes, you are right, those brownies are ridiculous! Wow!

    I love that pasta dish! Pesto is a favorite of mine…haven’t tried it with roasted red peppers yet!

    Congrats on the .com!

  44. 44
    Emiline says:

    Wow! The pasta and brownies look great.

    Congrats on the dot com. Looking forward to the new design – I love changing stuff around.

  45. 45
    hot garlic says:

    Okay, how could your hubby not like pesto?! This looks like a seriously great one with everything that I love, and YES please on the cream!

    The brownies DO look ridiculous, my mouth is watering. What is not to love, coconut, caramel, chocolate?! So good. Seriously -SO good!

    Congrats on your new dot com, aren’t you fancy!

  46. 46
    alexandra's kitchen says:

    very cool! I was thinking of trying to do that with Blogger, too, but I couldn’t quite figure it out.

    Roasted red pepper pesto sounds amazing, and yes, these brownies look ridiculous! and delicious.

  47. 47
    Mandy says:

    Congrats on the web address. That is very exciting to see Picky Palate growing up and I can’t wait to see the new design! This pasta looks great, and the brownies divine!

  48. 48
    Lucy says:

    Congrats!!! That pasta looks amazing and I’m needing a chocolate FIX!!

  49. 49
    Live.Love.Eat says:

    BOTH look delish!

  50. 50
    Joseph & Julianna says:

    Love your site. My husband sure has a picky palate! 2 things: while you are updating your site, you should find a way for readers to print recipes nicely to add to our recipe books. Second, I am a full time student and work almost as much so I’m going back and forth from school to work and am not always by a fridge or microwave. Do you have any good lunch suggestions? Plain sandwiches are getting boring. Thanks!

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Jenny Flake

Welcome to Picky Palate, my online kitchen! You'll usually find me with a cookie in one hand and a salad in the other. It's all about the balance :) The recipes you'll see are my creations. The Picky Palate Cookbook is now available. Enjoy!