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Pesto Penne, Dinner All Grown-Up

It has been a few weeks since I’ve posted any kitchen concoctions which means that I have not been whipping up anything fun for a while. With work and travels getting in the way, it has been too many late night grilled cheese dinners. Well, last night I decided it was time to get back in there and give it a go. But, being a week night it still had to be quick. I mean, with the #WeAreFaashion twitter party and an episode of Glee to watch I had a full night planned, priorities people!

I decided to try a Giada recipe of Penne with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto that looked pretty uncomplicated. To get the party started Floyd and I put on some music, popped open a bottle of vino and dug into a loaf of french bread w/ olive oil. Yum! I swear I could live off dinners of bread, olive oil and wine!

The result was a delicious penne pasta that both of us felt had a taste that was slightly more sophisticated than our stand-by or red sauce.  Not that I don’t love me some chunky Ragu.  Because I do!  To spice it up I added some spicy Italian chicken sausage and red pepper flakes.  True to the reviews, it was done in under 30 min!  Love it! Here’s the recipe minus my additions, or you can find it here.  Any other quick dinners I should know about?  I’m always on the look out!

Penne w/ Sun-dried Tomato Pesto


  • 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


1) 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.

2) 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.

3) 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.


  • Debby

    Yum… thanks for sharing. I am always looking for new tried and true recipes. xo

    November 4, 2010 at 7:07 am Reply
  • Chic 'n Cheap Living

    Yum and now I’m craving sun dried tomatoes!

    November 4, 2010 at 7:31 am Reply
  • daisychain

    That looks amazing! Saving to recipe file! x

    November 4, 2010 at 7:36 am Reply
  • Jessica

    Okay- not that is something special! I love pasta and pairing it with sun-dried tomatoes is one of my favs! Thanks for sharing such a great recipe girl! Loving the pics too.Maybe when I don’t have a 18 month old tagging on my leg non-stop around dinner I will spend more time on my pics! tell then you get what you get rigth! LOL! Love ya

    November 4, 2010 at 8:15 am Reply
  • Tanvi

    This does look easy to make and delicious. You made me hungry at 8 am! 🙂

    November 4, 2010 at 8:43 am Reply
  • Scientific Housewife

    I’ve made this recipe before using fresh basil from my window garden and it was amazing. Anything that has sun-dried tomatoes is great in my book 🙂

    November 4, 2010 at 8:45 am Reply
  • Cara

    I am not a huge fan of sun dried tomatoes-however this looks AMAZING!!
    <3 Cara
    “KEEP CALM” A Giveaway is Going On!!

    November 4, 2010 at 8:51 am Reply
  • Betty Manousos

    Wow, what a delicious dish! I adore pasta!
    Thanks for sharing this recipe. 🙂
    I’m going to give a try right now!

    B xx

    November 4, 2010 at 9:06 am Reply
  • Heavenly Housewife

    What a great simple pasta meal. I can tell by your list of ingredients that it would be packed full of strong and delicious flavors. Awesome 🙂
    *kisses* HH

    November 4, 2010 at 9:07 am Reply
  • Kelly V.

    Looks delicious! And I’m with you – meals of bread, olive oil and wine are right up my alley, but sadly my husband requires meat and veggies too 🙂 I’m just waiting for our trip to Italy because I see no better excuse to just eat bread and wine!

    November 4, 2010 at 9:09 am Reply
  • ilene

    that looks awesome! my mouth is watering now. i will def have to try this recipe. i love pasta!!!

    November 4, 2010 at 9:29 am Reply
  • sandy@oohlafroufrou

    Looks delish! I’ll print off the recipe! xo

    November 4, 2010 at 9:44 am Reply
  • Maddy

    Ok! This is what I’m making for dinner tonight!!

    November 4, 2010 at 9:48 am Reply
  • slamdunk

    We live on pasta dishes, and this one looks wonderful…

    November 4, 2010 at 9:59 am Reply
  • Krysten

    Yum that looks delicious!

    November 4, 2010 at 10:19 am Reply
  • Angie

    I just saw an episode where she made lemon chicken soup with spaghetti.., it was basically chicken noodle with a kick. I’m dying to try it. Love Giada!

    November 4, 2010 at 10:38 am Reply
  • Jill@TeenageBride

    Oh my, my husband would fall in love all over again if I made this for him lol

    looks divine!

    November 4, 2010 at 10:58 am Reply
  • Punctuation Mark

    all my favorite ingredients in a bowl!!!

    November 4, 2010 at 11:13 am Reply
  • Dany / fashiontowear

    Yum Yum, looks delicious! – And I love Pasta!

    November 4, 2010 at 11:17 am Reply
  • Marian

    Looks soooo good. May just try it tonight

    November 4, 2010 at 11:32 am Reply
  • everton terrace

    As good as some of the gluten-free bread is getting, it can’t replace an artisan loaf with some good olive oil (and chunks of garlic), how I miss it. I too could live off that, divine.

    November 4, 2010 at 11:41 am Reply
  • Shop N' Chomp

    Yummy! Thanks for sharing 😀

    November 4, 2010 at 11:44 am Reply
  • Cafe Fashionista

    Ohmigosh this looks absolutely amazing! I definitely want to try this recipe out!! 🙂

    November 4, 2010 at 12:00 pm Reply
  • carolina - patagonia gifts

    hmmm I adore pesto, especially because it’s so easy to do! thanks for sharing! xo

    November 4, 2010 at 12:03 pm Reply
  • Leeann @ Join the Gossip

    This looks SO good, and easy for the cooking impaired (me!). I am going to try to make this for sure!!

    November 4, 2010 at 12:05 pm Reply
  • Nikki

    Yum! I love anything with sundried tomatoes. Too bad my food processor and I are on the outs at the moment.

    November 4, 2010 at 12:08 pm Reply
  • Zablon Mukuba

    looks great am going to try it out

    November 4, 2010 at 12:24 pm Reply
  • Leia

    Looks delicious! Might try to find a vegetarian version of Parmesan so I can try this (Parmesan is made with animal rennet so not suitable for veggies like me I’m afraid 🙁 )

    November 4, 2010 at 12:29 pm Reply
  • Dancing Branflake

    Oh yummy! I am so hungry just from this post!!! You always make me wish I was right there cooking with you.

    November 4, 2010 at 12:56 pm Reply
  • Jennifer Fabulous

    Yummy! I definitely want to try this now. You make it look so EASY to make. 🙂

    November 4, 2010 at 1:54 pm Reply
  • kristin

    Looks great, makes me already look forward to kids in bed and a glass of red wine and a kiss:)

    November 4, 2010 at 2:24 pm Reply
  • Emily

    Another fab post Megan – love it! Love the photos too – thanks for sharing!

    November 4, 2010 at 2:30 pm Reply
  • Shelley

    oh you can never go wrong with giada! this looks absolutely delicious!

    November 4, 2010 at 3:12 pm Reply
  • Anna

    lovely photos!

    November 4, 2010 at 3:24 pm Reply
  • Helena - A Diary of Lovely

    oooh my, this looks delicious!!

    November 4, 2010 at 4:08 pm Reply
  • betsy

    mmm looks delish!

    November 4, 2010 at 4:18 pm Reply
  • drollgirl

    YUM!!! i will be trying this out!!!!

    November 4, 2010 at 4:37 pm Reply
  • closet fashionista

    Mmm that looks pretty tasty 😀

    November 4, 2010 at 4:45 pm Reply
  • Melanie's Randomness

    Well I now know what I’m making my boyfriend for dinner!! I LOVE pesto & pasta & hmmmmm this looks so yummmy!! I’ll get my chopper out right now!! =)

    November 4, 2010 at 5:09 pm Reply
  • Dawn {The Alternative Wife}

    That looks delish! Wish I had some right about now 🙂

    November 4, 2010 at 5:24 pm Reply
  • krystal/village

    This made my mouth water 🙂

    November 4, 2010 at 5:44 pm Reply
  • Pesky Cat Designs

    I want I want! it looks amazing. 🙂

    November 4, 2010 at 6:11 pm Reply
  • Nicole

    Pesto is my fave… And this recipe looks absolutely delicious! xo

    November 4, 2010 at 6:21 pm Reply
  • style'n

    wow you got my attention! This looks fabulous and I love your pictures. Did you take these during the day? great lighting! Love this recipe and the accompanying wine and bread 🙂

    November 4, 2010 at 6:47 pm Reply
  • Shea

    I just ate dinner, but I’m hungry again just looking at this! I’m going to have to make this–I LOVE sundried tomatoes!!

    November 4, 2010 at 6:47 pm Reply
  • Grace

    That sounds amazing! Just looking at those pics makes me hungry!

    November 4, 2010 at 7:31 pm Reply
  • Josie

    Oh, this looks so delectable! I love pasta in any capacity and I’m so with you on living on bread and olive oil — super delicious.
    xo Josie

    November 4, 2010 at 9:11 pm Reply
  • Annemarie @ Brunch at Saks

    Looks so yummy, Megan! I’m saving this. All I have to do is swap out the penne for my gluten free pasta and I’m ready to go! xoxo

    November 4, 2010 at 10:19 pm Reply
  • Ria

    This is my most favorite dish.
    I’ll try your recipe tomorrow.
    I usually add some cream or a tablespoon of yogurt as well!

    November 4, 2010 at 10:21 pm Reply
  • Kelly

    I have decided that I am making this for my husband for dinner tomorrow night. 🙂 Thanks for the inspiration!

    November 4, 2010 at 10:29 pm Reply
  • Chelsea

    This looks so yummy! We have been making a few pestos lately and this one sounds wonderful – we will be making this soon.


    November 4, 2010 at 10:57 pm Reply
  • Jude

    I think I know what I’m making this weekend! 🙂

    November 5, 2010 at 12:18 am Reply
  • Angie Muresan

    Got any leftovers?

    November 5, 2010 at 1:09 am Reply
  • Sandy a la Mode

    ohhh this is killing me right now, sooo hungry~!!! i love anything and i mean anything with pesto!! 🙂

    November 5, 2010 at 2:10 am Reply
  • Cassie

    I haven’t had a really good pasta in ages and even though it is 8:30am as I read this, it is making me very hungry!

    November 5, 2010 at 4:29 am Reply
  • Anaiz

    Wow, that looks so delicioso! I can hardly wait to try it out 😀

    November 5, 2010 at 1:29 pm Reply
  • Torrie @ a place to share...

    LOVE simple recipes like this. We have a 1/2 of a big jar of sun-dried tomatoes. I will definitely try this recipe; thanks for sharing!

    November 5, 2010 at 5:26 pm Reply
  • Polly

    I love pesto. YUM!!

    November 5, 2010 at 7:01 pm Reply
  • Lyddiegal

    Delicious! Pestos are my summer sauce staples. Few things are tastier with my pasta than fresh basil and cheese.
    Sadly all the basil in the garden is long gone now, so it will be months before I’m eating pesto again.

    November 5, 2010 at 8:47 pm Reply
  • Cassie

    Music, wine, bread and pasta sounds like my kind of dinner!

    November 6, 2010 at 10:12 pm Reply
  • Shea

    Okay, I DID make this. It was wonderful! And now I have lunches all week–thanks 🙂

    November 8, 2010 at 12:54 pm Reply

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