Giada's 5-Ingredient Pesto Pasta — Meatless Monday

Dig into Giada's hearty quick-fix pasta that's ideal for Meatless Monday or any other day of the week.
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Photo by: Brian Kennedy ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Brian Kennedy , 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Like a traditional pesto sauce, Giada De Laurentiis' easy-to-make recipe (pictured above) boasts a basil base and comes together with only a handful of ingredients in a matter of minutes, but there's one key difference: It's not tinted green, which is a usually a hallmark of classic pesto preparations. This one features a crimson-colored hue on account of the secret ingredient, sun-dried tomatoes, which Giada incorporates to guarantee over-the-top taste and texture.

To make sure her sauce is packed with flavor, Giada opts for the sun-dried tomatoes that are packed in olive oil, which ensures that they've picked up some of the oil's naturally fruity flavor. She simply whirls the tomatoes with the fragrant fresh herbs and garlic to create a speedy sauce. Perhaps best of all, though, is that like a tried-and-true pesto, this sauce doesn't need to be cooked; the heat of the just-cooked pasta will be enough to warm the pesto before serving. Follow Giada's lead and save a bit of the pasta water after cooking the noodles, as you may need it to loosen the sauce.

Meatless Monday, an international movement, encourages people everywhere to cut meat one day a week for personal and planetary health. Browse more Meatless Monday recipes.

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