In April I will open my Italian home restaurant in Johannesburg and I’m thinking to put this dish on the menu: paccheri with bell pepper pesto and ricotta! Using cheddar is not so Italian, I know, but that’s what I had in the fridge today and sometimes is good to break the rules…especially on sunday! Anyway you can use provola or smoked scamorza.


  • 400g durum wheat paccheri
  • 400g ricotta
  • 250g bell pepper pesto (recipe here)
  • 150g cheddar, sliced
  • chives, a bunch
  • salt
  • extra virgin olive oil










First of all, make the bell pepper pesto (recipe here).
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add a drizzle of olive oil to prevent paccheri from sticking and boil the pasta according to the package’s instructions (about 13-14 minutes).
Mix together ricotta and pesto in a bowl using a tablespoon. Salt at taste.
Drain the pasta. Preheat oven to 220°C.
Fill each pacchero with the mixture using a teaspoon and place vertically on the baking tray.
Once the baking tray is completely filled, top with sliced cheddar and bake for 15 minutes, until golden.
Sprinkle with chopped chives before serving.
Buon appetito!