27 December 2006

Easy-peasy Pesto and Penne

This is one of our all-time favorite dishes, and it is so simple which makes it even better. Anytime you are looking for a great pasta recipe that you can whip up in a flash and impress anyone - this is your dish. Just follow these few key rules and you can't go wrong:

1. You need a food processor - the small one seems to work best for this, but only because I think the large one is too big so I haven't used it for this.
2. You must use fresh basil (or the fresh in a tube basil) - dried will NOT work.
3. You must use fresh parmesan, the canned spaghetti cheese is not a good substitute.


12 ounces penne pasta
1 (8.5-ounce) jar sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil
2 garlic cloves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan


Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Meanwhile, blend the sun-dried tomatoes and their oil, garlic, salt and pepper, to taste, and basil in a food processor and blend until the tomatoes are finely chopped. Transfer the tomato mixture to a large bowl. Stir in the Parmesan.

Add the pasta to the pesto and toss to coat, adding enough reserved cooking liquid to moisten. Season the pasta, to taste, with salt and pepper and serve. (I never add the extra liquid)

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