Recipe courtesy of Kathleen Daelemans

Pasta Pesto

  • Level: Easy
  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Total: 20 min
  • Prep: 5 min
  • Cook: 15 min


1 pound penne pasta

1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste

1/2 cup basil leaves, torn


1/3 cup grated Parmesan, optional


  1. Cook the pasta in rapidly boiling water until al dente. Just before draining the pasta, reserve 1 cup of the water.
  2. In a medium saute pan over medium high heat, toast the pine nuts until fragrant and golden, about 2 to 3 minutes, set aside. Place pan back on the heat over medium-high heat. Add the tomatoes and 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Add the garlic and the red pepper flakes. If the sauce is too dry, add the remaining pasta water. Add the basil to the pan. Saute until just wilted. Remove the sauce from the heat.
  3. Place the pasta in a large bowl. Season the pasta with salt. Top the pasta with the tomato sauce. Sprinkle the toasted pine nuts over the pasta and cheese (if using). Toss to combine, taste and adjust seasonings, serve immediately.
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7 Reviews


This recipe is simple and tasty by itself, but by adding cooked chicken strips and a little homemade pesto sauce to thicken it up and make it stick to the chicken, you can really make this into a fantastic meal! Not too spicy (I put in a little under 1 tsp red pepper flakes) for those who aren't into *hot*, but an enough of a kick for those who do!

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