You can prepare the sauce ahead of time (using 3/4 cup of water instead of the pasta cooking water) and refrigerate it. Then gently reheat the sauce while the pasta cooks.


1 package (15 ounces) frozen cheese tortellini
1 cup jarred roasted red peppers, drained
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup orange juice

1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas, thawed


1. In a large pot of boiling water, cook the tortellini according to package directions. Drain, reserving ¾ cup of the pasta cooking water.

2. Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the roasted peppers, tomato paste, garlic, salt, ginger, and cayenne, and puree until smooth.

3. Transfer the sauce to a large skillet and add the reserved pasta cooking water, the orange juice, and the peas. Bring to a boil over medium heat.

4. Pour the sauce into a serving bowl. Add the hot tortellini and toss to combine. Makes 4 servings

Tortellini with Yellow Pepper-Basil Sauce In step 2, substitute 2 cups jarred roasted yellow peppers for the red. Omit the tomato paste, garlic, and ginger and use 2 tablespoons storebought pesto instead.

Nutrition Facts

per serving
calories 457
total fat 8.7g
saturated fat 4.7g
cholesterol 39mg
dietary fiber 7g
carbohydrate 72g
protein 22g
sodium 966mg

Good source of: calcium, niacin, potassium, riboflavin, thiamin, vitamin C

Kitchen Tip

You can also make the sauce as described in step 2 only (that is, without thinning it with water or orange juice) and serve it as a dipping sauce for vegetables or chips.

Many of the recipes in this book contain off-the-shelf foods to help keep recipe prep effort to a minimum – a benefit for your arthritic hands. However, some foods – like canned beans – can hike up sodium levels. If you are carefully watching your sodium, be sure to read this before preparing this recipe: Sodium Intake and Salt in Recipes

From The Johns Hopkins Cookbook Library: Recipes for Arthritis Health, edited by John A. Flynn, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.A.C.R. and Lora Brown Wilder, Sc.D., M.S., R.D.

Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at

Published: 02 Nov 2011

Last Modified: 07 Apr 2015