This scrumptious penne with pesto is a simple one-pot pasta recipe that comes together in about 20 minutes, uses just a few fresh ingredients, and makes a super delicious family meal.Quantities yield 4 small servings.
Keyword: penne with pesto
Easy Pesto (or 4 Tbsp or ready-made pesto)
1 small bunch (about 30 grams)basil leaves
3-4Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup(20-30 grams)cashews or pine nuts
⅓ cup(30 grams)parmesan cheese, plus more to serve if you wish
1small garlic clove, peeled and core removed (add more garlic if you like)
⅛ tsp fine salt, plus more to taste
2 (220 grams)medium-sized potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes (approx 1-1½ inches)
2 ⅓ cups(560 ml)water
½ tspfine salt
⅛ scanttspblack pepper
8 oz(220 grams)penne or similar pasta shapes (rigatoni, fusilli...)
⅔cupcherry tomatoes, cut into halves
Place all the ingredients in a small food processor and whiz until you reach a pesto-like consistency, not too smooth not too coarse. Taste, adjust the seasoning according to your taste, and set aside.
Peel and cut into cubes the potatoes. Place them in a large heavy pot (eg. Dutch oven), add water, salt, pepper and bring to the boil.
Add penne pasta to the pot, stir, cover with a lid, and cook over a medium-heat for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
Aftfter 10 minutes, remove the lid, reduce the heat and cook genty for a further 4 minutes. Keep an eye on it, pasta is not done yet and the liquid is reduced and full of starch. Stir more often and add a touch of water only if needed.
When the pasta is al dente, cooked but still firm to the bite, stir in the cherry tomatoes (optional), and finish with pesto. Toss to combine, and make sure the pasta is well coated and moist.
Divide into 4 plate, serve with a drizzle of extra virgine olive oil and some freshly grated parmesan cheese if you wish. Enjoy.
Cooking time: it may need adjustment, it depends mostly on the pasta brand and quality. I used Garofalo pasta, an Italian brand available in the USA and in the UK. The cooking time states on the package is 11 minutes, but in this in one pot recipe (with a small amount of liquid and the lid on) it took 14-15 minutes. If you use another brand, and the package states a shorter cooking time, adjust the recipe accordingly.
Water: if for some reason you think the pasta is still undercooked and liquid has reduced down, just add a touch of water, but careful not to overcook the pasta.
Nutrition facts: Please note that the nutrition values are based on an online nutrition calculator. It’s an estimate only and it should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice. The nutrition values are for 1 serving, without cherry tomatoes and considering 3 Tbsps of olive oil.