This Penne Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto is quick and easy to make and sure to be a hit with family and friends!
Honestly, I love pasta. I mean absolutely, positively, completely love it.
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.
For 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.
We 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.
Just to clarify, I use my food processor for making this 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, then toss again, 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.
- Pasta – Use dried penne or mini penne noodles.
- Sun Dried Tomatoes – These are bought in jars and are packed in oil.
- Garlic – Use fresh garlic if possible.
- Spices – I used salt, white pepper, and sweet basil for this pasta. You can add oregano as well.
- Cheese – Use good quality parmesan cheese.
- Nuts – I used walnuts for the pesto.
- Oil – Olive oil helps give the pesto an amazing texture.
How to Make Penne Pasta with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto:
- First, fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add salt to the water.
- Then, add the dried pasta and cook for 1 minute less than the package recommends.
- Reserve 1 cup of pasta water for later.
- Meanwhile, add the sun-dried tomatoes, oil from the sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, salt, white pepper, basil, half of the parmesan cheese, and walnuts to the food processor. Pulse till smooth. If it’s too thick add more oil.
- Transfer the pesto to the skillet or non-stick pan and cook over medium heat. Add the cooked noodles. Toss or use a tongs to keep the pasta moving as it heats up.
- Next, add about half the pasta water to the skillet or non-stick pan and allow to cook until everything comes together. You can add the rest of the pasta water if you want to change the consistency of the pasta.
- Transfer the pasta to a serving bowl or tray.
- Grate more parmesan over top of the pasta.
More Dinner Recipes:
- Chicken Enchilada Casserole
- Easy Cheesy Pasta Bake with Sausage and Peppers
- Greek Chicken Orzo Power Bowls
- American Chop Suey
- Saucy Mozzarella Chicken Bake
- 30 Minutes Chicken Vegetable Skillet Pasta
- One Pot Pasta with Sausage, Peppers and Apples
- Easy Chili Cornbread Casserole
Places to stalk Cravings of a Lunatic
Penne with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
- 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.
- While the pasta noodles are cooking you can toss your sun-dried tomatoes, the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes, the garlic, salt, white pepper, sweet basil, half of the parmesan cheese, 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.
- Transfer pesto to a large skillet or non-stick pan and heat on medium heat just before adding the cooked noodles. Then use a slotted spoon to lift out the noodles and transfer them to the large skillet or non-stick pan. Do not rinse the noodles.
- Toss the pasta together in the skillet or non-stick pan. Start by adding about 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water and then toss the pasta again. 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.
- Transfer the pasta to a serving bowl or tray.
- Grate freshly grated parmesan over top.
- Serve with a big old pasta loving smile!
Thanks for visiting today!