Roasted Red-Pepper Pesto with Penne
So you want to eat better? Good for you! But what's this? You don't love cooking, and more importantly don't have time to?
Fear not. Here's a stupidly simple recipe for one of my favourite dishes. The one element that slows it down? Boiling your water and making the pasta. Other than that you can literally whip this thing up in 5 minutes.
This recipe was originally found on the Annie's Eats website, so all credit has to go to her.
- 3 cloves garlic (if you have bigger cloves, or are more adverse to garlic feel free to cut it down to 2 since this is raw and un-cooked - but garlic is so good for you and delicious so I always go with 3)
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (the fresh stuff if you can get it, which you can because you're not a cretin)
- 1 cup roasted red bell pepper (fresh or jarred - I do jarred because I'm lazy)
- 1 cup basil leaves
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. pepper
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lb. penne pasta (I'm a big fan of the Catelli Smart Pasta which has more nutrients than white pasta, but less nutrients than whole wheat but doesn't taste like crumbly cardboard)
- ¼ cup heavy cream (I never do this, but I have no tolerance for lactose!)
- Bring water to a boil and begin cooking your pasta (I usually cook the full box and it takes around 11 minutes; more than enough time to prepare the pesto)
- Place garlic and pine nuts in a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped.
- Add Parmesan, red pepper, basil leaves, salt and pepper.
- Pulse until well combined.
- With the motor running, add olive oil through the feed tube and process until incorporated. Set aside.
- Finish cooking pasta, drain and return to the pot. Add the pesto to the pasta and stir to combine.
- Stir in heavy cream if desired for a creamier sauce (again I never do this it's fine without it). Top with freshly grated parmesan and serve immediately.
And there you have it! A brain-dead simple recipe that's easy to make, won't break the bank, and tastes fantastic. This usually makes enough pasta for 4-5 servings, which means leftovers! Feel free to re-heat your leftovers, but it's also super delicious cold.
If you make it be sure to let me know how it turned out. And let me know if you want more of my "go-to" recipes in the future.