This Italian-inspired dish is a quick fix for a delicious dinner. Pasta tossed with cheesy basil pesto – a one-pot meal.
teaspoon salt (for cooking pasta), if desired
cups uncooked rigatoni pasta (8 oz)
cup fresh basil leaves
cup grated Parmesan cheese
cup olive or vegetable oil
tablespoons pine nuts or walnut pieces
Fill a 4-quart Dutch oven about half full of water. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt if desired. Cover with lid; heat over high heat until the water is boiling rapidly. Add the pasta. Heat to boiling again. Boil uncovered 14 to 16 minutes, stirring frequently, until tender but not mushy. While the water is heating and the pasta is cooking, continue with the recipe to make the pesto.
To measure basil, firmly pack basil leaves into a measuring cup. Use a measuring cup for measuring dry ingredients. Rinse the basil leaves with cool water, and pat dry thoroughly with a paper towel or clean, dry kitchen towel. Peel the garlic cloves.
In a food processor or blender, place the basil leaves, garlic, cheese, oil and pine nuts. Cover and process, stopping occasionally to scrape sides with rubber spatula, until smooth.
Place a strainer or colander in the sink. Pour the pasta in the strainer to drain, and place in a large serving bowl or back in the Dutch oven. Immediately pour the pesto over the hot pasta, and toss until pasta is well coated. Serve with additional grated Parmesan cheese if desired.
Substitute 3/4 cup firmly packed fresh cilantro leaves and 1/4 cup firmly packed fresh parsley leaves for the fresh basil.
Substitute 1 cup firmly packed fresh spinach leaves and 1/4 cup firmly packed fresh basil leaves (or 2 tablespoons dried basil leaves) for the 1 cup fresh basil.
Use pesto immediately because it will darken as it is exposed to the air. Or store the pesto immediately by placing in an airtight container and refrigerate up to 5 days or freeze up to 1 month.
NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING
Serving Size: 1 Serving
- Calories from Fat
% Daily Value
- Total Fat
- (Saturated Fat
- 4 1/2g,
- 4 1/2%
- Trans Fat
- Total Carbohydrate
- (Dietary Fiber
% Daily Value*:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
Exchanges:3 1/2 Starch; 0 Fruit; 0 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 0 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 0 Lean Meat; 0 High-Fat Meat; 4 1/2 Fat;
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.