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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.



  1. Jessica says

    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

  2. Scientific Housewife says

    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 🙂

  3. Kelly V. says

    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!

  4. Angie says

    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!

  5. everton terrace says

    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.

  6. Leia says

    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 🙁 )

  7. style'n says

    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 🙂

  8. Lyddiegal says

    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.

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