Bow Tie Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

This crowd-pleasing pasta is packed with flavor and veggies. It's even got roasted red peppers hidden inside the easy tomato-based pesto sauce. Meatless sausage keeps it vegetarian while increasing the protein and adding flavor and texture.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 25 min
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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Ingredients

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 pound bow tie pasta (farfalle)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

12 ounces (about 3 links) plant-based Italian sausage, casings removed, sausage broken into chunks

One 8.5-ounce jar sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil

3/4 cup jarred roasted red peppers packed in water plus 2 tablespoons liquid from the jar

2/3 cup walnut halves

1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, plus more chopped leaves for garnish

1/3 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon tomato paste

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the package directions for al dente. Reserve 2 cups of the pasta cooking water before draining. Return the cooked pasta to the pot.
  2. While the pasta cooks, heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion just begins to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the sausage, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to turn golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the sun-dried tomatoes and the oil from the jar, red peppers, red pepper liquid, walnuts, parsley, Parmesan, vinegar, tomato paste, 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper in a food processor and process until smooth.
  4. Add the sausage mixture and sun-dried tomato pesto to the pot with the pasta and stir until well combined, stirring in as much of the reserved pasta water as necessary to make a creamy sauce. Garnish with chopped parsley and more Parmesan. 
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