Perfect Penne Pesto Pasta is one of the easiest dishes to make at home that tastes great. You just need to know a couple secrets to get that restaurant quality.
Have you had pesto pasta at home and it didn’t taste as good as you’ve had in a restaurant? Yours had a stronger pesto and oil flavor, but the restaurant’s pesto tasted rich and creamy?
I know that happened to me. One simple ingredient changed the entire flavor of my pesto sauce and made it restaurant-quality. I had to share this recipe with you because now you can make it perfectly, like you were professionally trained as a chef in Italy.
Cooking isn’t hard, as long as you have the right recipe and fresh ingredients. You can add cooked chicken or grilled shrimp and make this a wonderful dinner with a side salad.
Adding sautéed vegetables to penne pesto pasta is my favorite way to make this recipe. Simply sauté the vegetables in another pan and mix them in with the pasta at the end.
I have a link to the homemade pesto sauce I used (which is part of this recipe), but if you’re pressed on time feel free to use store-bought pesto.
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Here’s the Perfect Penne Pesto Pasta Recipe
Ingredients for Pesto Penne Pasta
4 quarts filtered water
1 1/2 tablespoons sea salt
16 ounces penne pasta
1 cup pesto
1/3 cup heavy cream
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Directions for Making Penne Pesto Pasta Recipe
- Bring water to boil in a large stockpot.
- Add the salt and pasta and stir until the pasta is submerged.
- Boil the penne pasta until the pasta is done (approximately 12 minutes).
- Reserve two tablespoons of the pasta water and then drain the water.
- Return pasta to the stockpot.
- Combine the pesto, cream, and reserved water in a bowl and mix well.
- Pour mixture into the stockpot and toss.
- Place pasta on plates and add freshly ground Parmesan cheese to the top and pepper to taste.
- 4 quarts filtered water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sea salt
- 16 ounces penne pasta
- 1 cup pesto
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Fresh ground pepper to taste
- Bring water to boil in a large stockpot.
- Add the pasta and salt and stir until the pasta is emerged
- Boil the penne pasta until done (approximately 12 minutes)
- Reserve two tablespoons of pasta water and then drain water.
- Return pasta to stockpot.
- Combine the pesto, cream, and reserved water and mix together.
- Pour creamy pesto mixture in stockpot and toss.
- Place pasta on plates and add freshly grated Parmesan cheese and pepper to taste on top of the pasta.
Amount Per Serving Calories 576Total Fat 40gSaturated Fat 11gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 26gCholesterol 38mgSodium 2762mgCarbohydrates 41gFiber 3gSugar 2gProtein 14g
Tips for cooking perfect pasta
1) Use one gallon of water for each pound of pasta.
2) Bring the water to boil before putting pasta in. Cover the pot to make the water boil faster.
3) Cook uncovered, and stir often for the first couple of minutes. Stir every few minutes after that.
4) Use the recommended time for cooking length on the package.
5) Check for doneness by biting into a piece of pasta. It should be tender, but slightly firm in the center.
6) When the pasta is ready, drain in a colander without rinsing (unless recipe calls for it.)
Make Your Own Homemade Pesto
1. Homemade pesto always tastes better. Here you will find my Easy Pesto Recipe.
2. I wrote an article on what to do with leftover pesto. You can find it here.
Now that you read the recipe, you’ve probably realized the secret to making an amazing pasta dish is the heavy cream. I found this recipe in the Longaberger Fresh From the Pantry Cookbook.
The great thing about this recipe is if you like more pesto flavor change the ratio to less cream. If you like a lighter pesto taste, add less pesto.
Longaberger is that company that specialized in artisan baskets. They had a restaurant at their location and the recipes in the book are from that restaurant.
We’ve reached the end of Perfect Penne Pesto Pasta. I hope try it and let me know what you think in the comments below.
Thanks for stopping by!
More Pasta Recipes for You to Try
To find out more about basil, I wrote a post called Interesting Facts About Basil.