Thursday, August 21, 2008

Penne with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto

It was my turn to host our weekly play date this week. I don't know why, but for some reason lunch menus really stump me. I can come up with dinner menus all day long. I think its also a little bit of a challenge because it needs to be something that feeds a crowd, can be served buffet style and eaten while chasing a toddler if need be! It also has to be easy to prepare ahead. I was searching on the food network site and came across Giada's recipe for Pasta with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto. The recipe had great reviews and it met all my requirements. It even had an additional bonus of being very easy to make and only requiring a few ingredients. Can't ask for more than that. I made this recipe in 10 minutes and it was a hit. Even the toddlers liked it! They must be future gourmets in the making! If you wanted to make this more substantial you could easily add chicken sausage. The pesto flavor was mild and not overpowering. It coated the pasta very well. This will be a staple in our house from now on. I served this with a mixed green salad with sliced carrots, pine nuts, tomato and zucchini, fresh fruit and Paula Deen's Blueberry Cream Cheese Tarts. Definitely a successful lunch!

Penne with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto
Source: Giada de Laurentis/

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.


Cate said...

That looks like a perfect lunch. I'm impressed the toddlers enjoyed the sun dried tomatoes!

Amy said...

This looks great! I love sun dried tomatoes!! Those tarts look amazing as well!!!

Sing For Your Supper

Joelen said...

That pesto looks great and such a great way to use the sun dried tomatoes :)

Linds said...

Yum! This is my kind of pasta. I love sundried tomato. Great idea!

Carrie said...

Wow that looks yummy!