Penne Al Pesto: An Italian classic
Penne Al Pesto is a quick and easy dish that bound to leave you satisfied. Find out how to make your version of this simple yet elegant dish.
Quick and easy, Penne Al Pesto is a simple and light Italian pasta dish made with just a few in under 15 minutes. The pasta is abundant with flavour when tossed in pesto, fresh cherry tomatoes and Parmesan cheese.
Penne is the plural form of the Italian penna (meaning feather and pen), which is derived from the Latin word penna (meaning "feather" or "quill") and is similar to the English word pen. "Penne" is extruded form of pasta that has cylinder-shaped pieces with angled ends. The pasta itself was created to look like the steel nib of fountain and dip pens used in the past.
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces)
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup pine nuts (or chopped walnuts)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or more to taste
Add the basil leaves and pine nuts to a food processor bowl, and pulse several times.
Pulse several more times after adding the garlic and Parmesan (or Romano) cheese. Use a rubber spatula to clean the food processor's sides.
Slowly pour a small amount of olive oil in a steady stream as the food processor runs. Olive oil will emulsify and prevent separation if it is added gradually while the machine is operating. Stop occasionally to scrape the food processor's sides.
Add salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Making Your Pasta
- Penne Pasta
- Salt and pepper
- Add your penne pasta along with a bit of salt, to a large pot of water that's boiling over medium-high heat. Cook till al dente ((fully cooked but still firm), about 8-10 minutes.
- Make sure not to overcook the pasta!
- After removing the pasta from the heat and collecting at least 1/4 cup of the pasta water, rinse the penne in a colander and let it cool for a minute.
- Turn off the heat and reserve at least ¼ cup of pasta water, then drain the pasta in a colander and let it cool for 1 minute.
- Move the pasta into a large mixing bowl along with the pesto and pasta water you collected earlier (¼ cup or more, if desired). Sprinkle salt and pepper for flavour and toss to coat the pasta in the sauce and the condiments. Stir in cherry tomatoes and parmesan cheese.
- Sprinkle extra parmesan on top and serve
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