Penne with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

This pasta is simple to make yet packed with flavour. Quick, tasty and sure to be a hit with family and friends!

Penne with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto | This pasta is simple to make yet packed with flavour. Quick to make and sure to be a hit with family and friends!

I love pasta. I mean absolutely, positively, completely love it.

These days it’s not politely correct to say how much you love carbs, but I’m saying it here today. I will scream it from the rooftops. I love carbs. More than life itself.

I know they say home is where the heart is. Quite frankly I think they should change that saying to “home is where the carbs are”. At least for me.

Recently I had the distinct pleasure of heading to Miami for a food blog conference called Blogher Food. My pals at Aurora Importing sponsored me to attend the conference. They are a company I work with often, and do so proudly because I use their products on a regular basis. My pantry is full of Aurora Importing products all the time.

They have a new online store where you can buy products directly from them. They ship to Canada and the United States. It’s a really convenient way to shop. Plus you can buy in bulk which for people like me is a huge bonus.

I’d like to thank Aurora Importing for being kind enough to sponsor me for Blogher Food. It’s always a pleasure working with a company I believe in, and use in my day to day life. This partnership could not be a better fit for me. I learned so much at the conference, and had a great time connecting with fellow bloggers and brands. It was a great opportunity to get out and have some foodie fun.

To me there’s nothing better for a gathering of friends and family than putting a family style dish of pasta on the table. Everyone can dig right in and help themselves. It’s a great way to serve pasta, a little less formal and stuffy than some alternatives. I took the photos for the post then piled the pasta on an old silver platter and we just dug right into it. That’s the way Italian food should be served if you ask me. Family style is where it’s at, folks. Try it for yourself and I guarantee your kids will love the laid back atmosphere of just diving right into the platter of pasta. It’s messy, fun and seriously scrumptious. Enjoy!

Penne with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto | This pasta is simple to make yet packed with flavour. Quick to make and sure to be a hit with family and friends!

Penne with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Penne with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto | This pasta is simple to make yet packed with flavour. Quick, tasty and sure to be a hit with family and friends!
Serves: More pasta than you shake a stick at!
  • 1 lb or 454 g of mini penne, or regular penne pasta
  • 1 jar of sun-dried tomatoes in oil (about 10 oz or 300 ml)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • Salt to taste
  • White pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons dried sweet basil (you can use fresh, I was out of fresh)
  • ¼ cup fresh, grated parmesan (more for garnish if you like)
  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • ¼ olive oil if needed, more or less depending how thick or thin you like your pesto
  1. Fill a large pot with water and place over medium-high heat on the stove. Bring the water to a boil. Add salt generously. Add pasta and cook for 1 minute less than the package directions. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water in case you want to add it to the dish later. Set that aside. Then use a slotted spoon to lift out the noodles and transfer them to the large pan. Do not drain, do not rinse.
  2. Meanwhile toss your sun-dried tomatoes, the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes, the garlic, salt, white pepper, sweet basil, parmesan and walnuts in a food processor. Pulse until smooth. If the mixture is still too thick add a touch of olive oil to start and pulse while adding the oil until you get the desired consistency you like. It's always best to start with a little, you can always add more but you can't take away. So go easy initially and add oil to taste if needed.
  3. Transfer pesto to a large non-stick pan and heat on medium heat just before adding the cooked noodles. Remember to reserve 1 cup of pasta water to add later. Start pulling out your cooked noodles and add them to the pan with the pesto. Toss while adding, and continue tossing to coat the noodles with the pesto. You can start by adding about ¼ cup of the reserved pasta water and then toss the pasta. If you need more pasta water to thicken the pasta you can add until you get the desired thickness you like. I added almost all of it to mine to thicken it.
  4. If desired add some freshly grated parmesan over top.
  5. Serve with a big old pasta loving smile!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: Serves 6 to 8

Penne with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto | This pasta is simple to make yet packed with flavour. Quick to make and sure to be a hit with family and friends!

When making pesto use your imagination. There are so many ways to change pesto up to suit your own taste. Be creative and have fun with it.

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto |Simple to make yet packed with flavour. Quick, tasty and sure to be a hit with family and friends!

I use my food processor for making pesto. What I like about using the food processor, as opposed to other techniques, is that it’s easy to adjust the oil as you go. It’s also a fast way to make pesto, not a lot of monkeying around when you use a food processor.

When you combine the pesto with the cooked noodles remember that tossing is your best friend. You want to toss, toss and toss some more. Then when you think you’re about done with the tossing, give it another toss just to be sure. This will ensure the noodles are evenly coated with pesto, or sauce if you happen to be using sauce instead. So toss, toss, then toss some more, toss again till you can’t toss any more.  Then you’re good to serve this up on platter. This family style meal will be a huge hit with your family and friends.

Penne with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto | This pasta is simple to make yet packed with flavour. Quick to make and sure to be a hit with family and friends!

Hope you enjoy the pasta. I sure missed everyone while I was off work. I was sick as a dog after my trip to Miami. I appreciate all my readers for understanding my need to take some time off to recover. Thanks to everyone who emailed me. It meant a lot to me.

Also, for those of you who follow the facebook page, my daughter’s wisdom teeth surgery went really well. She had them done yesterday, and has been a real trouper about the whole thing. We’re all relieved she got them out, finally. She had been struggling with pain so it will be nice for her to get back to normal. She says thanks to everyone who sent messages wishing her a speedy recovery. We really appreciate your kindness and support.

Tune in all this week for lots of great recipes. I’ve got a pizza coming up this week, as well as some dessert. Plus some beverages for you to enjoy in this hot weather.

If you’re into grilling make sure you follow my other site, Kiss My Smoke. I just picked up an electric smoker and am having a ball with it. Be sure to follow that blog for tons of great grill recipes.

Disclosure Mumbo Jumbo: This post is a thank you to Aurora Importing for sponsoring me for Blogher Food. As my readers know I only work with companies I trust and use on a regular basis. All opinions are my own. Aurora Importing paid for me to attend Blogher Food. I am eternally grateful. 

Toodles and smoochies! xx

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  1. says

    I love pasta too… I just wished it loved me back. :) I adore this pesto… I have my low carb “pasta”…. so I definitely can try it on that. :) Of course, my family still eats real pasta… so they will drool over this dish. :)

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Ha, thanks Ramona. I have tried low carb pasta, there’s a company that makes a low GI one I quite like. Hard to get in Canada though. I’m a fan of any kind of pasta. My body just craves it all the time.

  2. says

    We knew you were going to do magic with the oil and the sundried tomatoes, but… WOW, KIM! This is awesome! Love the quick pesto in the food processor and how careful you are saving the pasta water to add it later, that’s one of my favourite Nonna tricks 😉

    Also, we love your blog and we want to thank you for letting us be part of your BlogHer Conference experience. We really enjoy working with you! We hope your readers enjoy the 10% discount at the store.



    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Thanks so much Andrés. I’ve been having a ball with all the products. I’m in love with oil, as always. I won’t let anyone else touch it. It’s off limits.

      Thanks again for sending me to the conference. I had a great time. Being in such a non-foodie area I fully enjoy getting to places that are so foodie friendly.

      I got your email, been tied up with the hooligan. Se had a reaction the antibiotics. She’s fine but the last 24 hours have been interesting. I’ll send you a quick update tonight before I hit the hay.

      Love working with you and looking forward to seeing what you think of the pizza that is up next.

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Thanks John. We’ve had a wild month. I caught the worst bug in Miami, as did my room-mate, Aly of Cooking in Stilettos. I could barely walk, haven’t been that sick since I had scarlet fever as a kid. So glad it’s almost over, just a lingering sore throat. Then we jumped through hoops and had to throw a fit over K’s teeth. Her surgeon kept rescheduling her. We finally complained to our old dentist and they called to raise hell on Friday. They had her booked with another surgeon for Monday, was seriously impressive. She’s so happy to have it over with. She’s a tough little hooligan, she hasn’t napped or nodded off since surgery. Never seen someone bounce back so fast. I keep calling her a mutant. Ha.

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Thanks Stephanie. I’m so glad to be better. I’ve not been that ill since I was a kid. It was horrible.

      Thanks. I love this pasta. We’re huge pasta and pizza eaters here.

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Thanks so much Alice.

      Me too. You are not making it to F&W if I recall properly. How about IFBC?

  3. says

    I’m so sad that my body doesn’t like carbs lately, because this looks fabulous. I especially think the pesto sounds awesome!

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      That’s such a bummer. I am endlessly paranoid about that happening to me. I eat so many, it would be such an adjustment if I had to stop eating them. The pesto is amazing on sandwiches.

  4. says

    Oh my goodness I am sooooo sorry to hear you were that sick. That happened to me over 20 yrs ago. I realized what the REAL flu is all about. So glad you are on the mend. I wondered why you had been so ‘quiet’ lately. Yes, the way to make pesto is with a food processor, just for the reason you are mentioning—-the critical part of adding the right amount of oil.

    • Kim Beaulieu says

      Thanks. I haven’t been that sick since I had scarlet fever as a kid. I could barely stand for about 10 days, it was awful. And I was trying to keep all the germs away from the hooligan so she didn’t get sick before her surgery. Was a wild few weeks. Glad it’s over now. I don’t think I cooked for over 3 weeks, maybe even a month. Crazy.

      It’s so true, I stand there with the bottle eye balling the pesto. It’s like a science experiment every time. So much fun.

  5. says

    I could eat pasta day ‘n night. I’m a carboholic through and through. Your penne looks fantastic, Kim! I hope you’re all recovered from Miami and it’s good to hear that your daughter’s wisdom teeth surgery went well. I can still remember how awful it was when I got mine removed. The recovery sucked! As for the electric smoker, my eyes bug out of my head in delight and hunger every time I see photos of that smoker and all the fabulous meats you’re cooking.

  6. says

    I will be right beside you on that roof top screaming that I love carbs because I LOVE them! I could eat them every single day of my entire LIFE! haha Love the Pesto Pasta you’ve got here! I’ll have to check out Aurora Importing!

    • says

      Hello Phi!
      We love to discover new food bloggers! I think the only way to get Aurora products in Milwaukee is through the online store, so if you end up using Kim’s discount code and trying any of our products please let us know what you think :)


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