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Penne with garlic pesto recipe

Penne with garlic pesto recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Pasta
  • Pasta sauce
  • Pesto

This pesto recipe is made with vegetable stock instead of olive oil, saving on fat and calories.

35 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 150ml (5 fl oz) vegetable stock
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • good handful fresh basil leaves
  • 30g (1 oz) grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 350g (12 oz) penne pasta
  • 2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped

MethodPrep:20min ›Ready in:20min

  1. In a small saucepan, combine stock and garlic cloves. Simmer for about 5 minutes, or until garlic is soft. Alternatively, microwave on High for 5 minutes in a microwave safe bowl.
  2. Add basil to the bowl of a food processor; chop fine. Blend in stock mixture. Add Parmesan cheese and pine nuts; chop fine. Pesto can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 24 hours.
  3. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water until al dente. Drain well, and return to pot. Stir in pesto to coat pasta. Toss with tomatoes.

Parmesan cheese

Parmesan cheese is not truly vegetarian, as it contains animal rennet. To make this dish 100% vegetarian, omit the cheese or find a suitable vegetarian substitute made without animal rennet. In supermarkets look for the 'parmesan style hard cheeses' which are suitable for vegetarians.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(16)

Reviews in English (15)

Used different ingredients.A delicious recipe! used chicken stock instead of veggie and cashews instead of pine nuts. Served with pasta and tuna. My 11 yr daughter loved it!-16 Dec 2010

by amber bamber

Altered ingredient amounts.Not the best pesto in the world, but still quite good. It's amazing that it's that good with so little fat! This is now my new default pesto recipe, and I'll use the pesto in everything in the future. I only used half the vegetable stock, though.-24 Jul 2008

  • SAUCE:
  • 1/2 bottle of Lawry's herb and garlic marinade
  • 2 large spoonfuls pesto
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts
  • 8 ounces your choice of pasta (I used whole wheat penne)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 spoonfuls of pesto
  • 1/2 cup of chicken broth
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1 cup of half-and-half

Step 1

Cut chicken into one inch strips. Using same knife make slits into chicken. Pour Lawry's marinade and pesto over chicken. Marinate overnight.

Boil water and start on noodles.

Pour entire batch of chicken, marinade and all, into skillet and cook chicken fully. The marinade will evaporate/cook down.

Heat olive oil, cook garlic. Add pesto. Simmer in chicken broth until half has cooked down. Add tomato sauce, then add milk. Simmer for 5 minutes. Toss pasta in. Add flour if it needs to be thickened. Place chicken on top.

Recipe Summary

  • ½ bottle Italian dressing, or Lawrys Herb and Garlic Marinade
  • 4 tablespoons pesto, divided
  • 2 boneless chicken breast halves
  • 8 ounces penne pasta (1/2 box)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1-2 tablespoons flour, as needed

Cut chicken into one-inch strips. Add to a gallon-size zip-top plastic bag. Whisk together 2 tablespoons pesto and dressing (or marinade) in bowl. Pour marinade mixture over chicken and make sure chicken is fully coated. Marinate overnight in refrigerator.

Boil water and start on noodles. Add chicken to skillet, heated over medium, and cook fully, 3-5 minutes on each side. The marinade will cook down.

In a separate skillet, heat olive oil. Add minced garlic and cook 30 seconds. Mix in remaining 2 tablespoons pesto and and chicken broth. Simmer until mixture has reduced by half. Add tomato sauce and half-and-half. Simmer for 5 minutes. Toss with pasta and add 1-2 tablespoons flour if mixture needs to be thickened.

Can You Make Pesto At Home?

Although most of us have switched to store-bought products, making one at home has its benefits. For one, it is free from preservatives. It is fresh, and you get premium grade quality. Something no one can guarantee. Just like many other sauces, you can also make pesto at home. In fact, it is super easy to make. Although the traditional pesto sauce includes parmesan cheese, for our vegan version, we are going to skip it. You can use vegan parmesan if you like. The choice is yours. Here is how you can make vegan pesto at home effortlessly:

  • First, you have to collect the ingredients. The ingredients include:
      • Water
      • Walnuts
      • Basil
      • Spinach
      • Garlic
      • Nutritional Yeast Flakes
      • Salt
    • Once you have everything, wash the fresh basil leaves and spinach leaves to get rid of dirt and debris.
    • Next, place all the ingredients in a food processor or blender.
    • Pulse until you get a smooth thick paste.
    • Take it out in an air-tight container and refrigerate. How simple is this?

    For those who don’t like the flavor of basil much, we have another amazing pesto recipe. It is quite different from the traditional ones and therefore is perfect for those who don’t like the traditional pesto and its flavor. This recipe has the same preparation method. However, the ingredients are completely different. Here is everything you need for this pesto recipe:

    • Parsley
    • fresh spinach leaves
    • fresh rosemary leaves
    • fresh thyme leaves
    • walnuts
    • olive oil

    blend it in the blender or food processor and store it in an air-tight container. This version has a rich parsley flavor and the aroma of rosemary. It is also fairly tasteful. However, we are going to stick to the traditional pesto for our recipe today.

    Can I double this recipe?

    Besides weeknight dinners, this carbo-licious Penne Pesto Primavera pasta recipe is perfect for special occasions or just for when company comes over. Afterall, who doesn&rsquot like pasta, right?

    With the amount of ingredients listed below, this recipe makes 6 generous servings.

    You can however easily double or triple the amount to serve larger group. It stores well as well.

    Nutty Arugula Pesto with Penne and Parmesan

    • shellfish-free
    • kidney-friendly
    • fish-free
    • alcohol-free
    • vegetarian
    • peanut-free
    • pork-free
    • pescatarian
    • balanced
    • sugar-conscious
    • egg-free
    • soy-free
    • low-sodium
    • red-meat-free
    • Calories 373
    • Fat 17.5 g (26.9%)
    • Saturated 3.1 g (15.3%)
    • Carbs 44.2 g (14.7%)
    • Fiber 2.4 g (9.5%)
    • Sugars 1.9 g
    • Protein 10.0 g (20.0%)
    • Sodium 78.3 mg (3.3%)


    lemon, zested and juiced (about 2 tablespoons juice)

    kosher salt, plus more to salt pasta water

    grated Parmesan, plus extra to serve

    Freshly ground black pepper, to season


    In the bowl of a food processor, blend arugula, basil, toasted walnuts, olive oil, garlic, lemon zest and juice, salt and a few grinds of pepper until well combined and smooth. Feel free to add extra olive oil if the pesto feels too thick or chunky.

    Place a large pot of salted water over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Add pasta and to cook to al dente. Drain and place back in pot. Fold in pesto. Serve hot in your favorite bowls with a generous sprinkling of Parmesan over the top of each bowl.

    Related Video

    I am so happy to find this recipe again. I originally had gotten it off the label of a can of Del Monte Peas in 1991. I think it was titled Pasta Verde. The label sat glued to a blank page in my recipe binder and somehow got lost over the years. I have tried to recreate it from memory more than once only to be disappointed greatly with the outcome. This looks like it. Super excited to try it out tonight.

    We love the pesto! I wish I could give it 3.5 stars. I've made it twice, both times with fresh english peas. For people who were put off by the sweetness of frozen peas, try the fresh. The first time I made it as written, and it was very good. I prefer the taste of roasted pine nuts in traditional pesto, and they also work well with this recipe. But, the second time around I used lightly roasted walnuts (the price of pine nuts!), and we all actually preferred it with the walnuts. This is also excellent spread on crostini.

    I've lost count of how many times I've made this. I do use walnuts instead of pinenuts, because of the price difference, and I've long since stopped measuring anything, but this recipe was where I started.

    This pesto is delicious and a welcome change to the usual. So sad some people (Melby) think dinner is not dinner unless there's a dead animal involved.

    I prepared this exactly as directed except that I used fresh English peas and a different shaped pasta. It was a big hit with my family, which includes picky kids. This is a lovely and easy Spring dish that I'll definitely make again!

    Loved this, used walnuts instead of pine nuts (have you seen the price of pine nuts. ). The whole family enjoyed this, and there is plenty left over for lunch tomorrow! )

    I used less peas and supplemented with zucchini-- which made the pesto less sweet. I also added 4 kalamato olives and a bit of lemon zest. I used another reader's idea about using walnuts.It is delicious and I will surely make this again!

    Very easy! Added some fresh mint and chopped scallions for an extra spring flavour. Not a strong 'pea' flavour, which might be a turnoff to some (the strong flavour).

    Easy and delicious. Loved it as a pasta sauce but also used a slightly thicker version for a home made ravioli filling. Wonderful!

    One of our favorite recipes. The pea pesto is absolutely delicious. I am cooking this dish quite often for my vegetarian husband.

    This wasn't what I was hoping for. I added some sausage thank goodness because it was at least a little worth it. I added some dried basil and crushed red pepper and then it was palatable. I also sprinkled with parm cheese. I prefer actual pesto with peas throughout instead of pesto made of peas.

    Simple to make and really delicious! I followed the recipe exactly and it worked great.

    Don't bother. Not worth it. Would not make again.

    The peas gave this dish a sweetness that I found off-putting.

    I made a half recipe for just the two of us as a side dish. Used 2 cloves of garlic, also used walnuts which I prefer in basil pesto. Didn't measure but used a lot more olive oil than in the recipe to get it to blend. I was going to save some whole peas to add at the end but instead put them in the blender for a quick whirl. This was a beautiful, quick and delicious dish! I will definitely make it again. Might even keep some of the pesto in the freezer for a really quick lunch or supper!

    I made this once and my family liked it. I added a handful of basil and used walnuts the second time and it was even better. My 3 year old loved it. Now how easy is it to get a 3 year old to love food.

    It's true that this is extremely easy, and uses ingredients that one often has on hand. But it was a bit boring. When I increased the pesto to pasta ratio the next day, and added a little extra oil, it was delicious.

    I would definitely make this again. I made this on a day when I was really too tired to cook. I used whole wheat pesto because that's all I had. I topped it with chopped cilantro. It was quick and nice

    This was quick, easy and delicious! I followed the recipe exactly and it turned out great.

    This is a great recipe, mostly because it was cheap,fast, and easy to make. It also can be served hot or cold, making it a good dish to bring on a picnic. I think next time i make it I may fold in some extra whole peas at the end for texture and visual appeal.

    For this pesto cream pasta, I brought water, white wine, heavy cream, pesto and a bit of garlic to a boil, tossed in a box of pasta and called it a day. It really doesn’t get any easier.

    I topped the creamy pesto pasta with cheese and fresh basil. If you wanted to make this a complete meal, you could add in some shredded chicken, but I wanted pure carbs in all their glory.

    I am a food blog

    I know it’s the middle of winter and basil isn’t exactly in season but sometimes in the cold, the best way to warm up is a taste of summer. And to me, summer tastes like pesto and oven burst cherry tomatoes. I did a little twist on the classic pesto that’s made with pine nuts and used extra buttery macadamia nuts instead for a nutty, savory macadamia parmesan pesto.

    I’m obsessed with macadamias. I think they might just be my favorite nut. They’re buttery, they have a sweet nutty flavor, and they just so addictive, whether I’m eating them as a snack or if they’re in something like this pesto. I think the mac nuts give this pesto a little something extra. If you like pesto but you’re also into pesto variations, give this a try!

    How to make pesto from scratch

    Forget buying those tubs of pesto from the store, it’s super easy to make at home and you can do infinite combinations.

    Pesto is a sauce from Italy, Genoa to be exact. Traditionally it’s made from crushed garlic, pine nuts, salt, basil, and either parmigiano or percorino, finished with olive oil. These days most people make it in a food processor, but back in the day it was made with a mortar and pestle. If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a mortar and pestle or you can do what I did and use a knife.

    Pesto is usually eaten with pasta but now there’s pesto chicken, pesto bread, pesto pizza, pesto potatoes, you name it, you can pesto it. It’s a super versatile sauce or condiment and it adds a hint of freshness and flavor to anything. It keeps for a few days in the fridge (it might start turning brown so be sure to push the plastic wrap right against the pesto so there’s no air contact) making it a great make ahead sauce.

    Technically they probably won’t call it pesto in Italy, but there are a ton of pesto-type sauces you can make, seasonally or special diet wise.

    How to make chicken pesto pasta:

    Below are some step-by-step photos and instructions demonstrating the key steps for how to make this delicious pasta dish.

    First, heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add chicken (chopped up) with sun-dried tomatoes (chopped into smaller bites) to the skillet, sprinkle with red pepper flakes. Saute for about 1 minute on medium heat.

    Next, add sliced mushrooms (add another 1 tablespoon olive oil if needed):

    and saute for about 2 more minutes (or a little bit more), until chicken is cooked through and mushrooms are softened:

    Then, add garlic, pesto, milk, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Bring to boil, immediately reduce to simmer and simmer, stirring until everything is well combined. Remove from heat. Taste, and add more salt, if needed.

    Finally, cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain. Add cooked pasta to the sauce, reheat.
    Top with chopped fresh basil.


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