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Penne Pesto

Penne pasta tossed in a subtle blend of fresh basil, pine kernels, garlic, parmesan cheese and olive oil.

Vegetarian Italian Cooking

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Serves: 4 
Cooking time (approx.):  minutes
Style: Italian Vegetarian

2  cup(s) uncooked penne pasta
1  cup(s) walnuts toasted till aromatic
2  teaspoon(s) finely chopped or grated garlic
4  tablespoon(s) grated parmesan or romano cheese
2  cup(s) basil leaves
2  tablespoon(s) olive oil
½  cup(s) milk
2  tablespoon(s) cream
salt, and freshly milled black pepper to taste
grated parmesan cheese to garnish

  1. Cook the penne pasta in a pot of boiling salted water for about 8 minutes or till tender but just underdone. Drain and refresh in cold water. Drain well and toss in a little hot butter in a pan. Keep warm.
  2. For the pesto sauce, blend coarsely the walnuts, basil, garlic, parmesan cheese and olive oil.
  3. At serving time, heat the milk in a saucepan till it boils. Add the cream and mix gently. Add the pesto paste and mix. Simmer for about 2  minute(s). Season with salt and freshly milled pepper.
  4. Toss the penne in sauce till well heated through only at serving time.


  • It is important to cook the pasta till it is almost cooked or till just underdone. Refresh any form of cooked pasta in cold water so that they do not become sticky. Drain the cold water and coat the pasta with a drop or two of oil. Alternatively, toss in some melted butter till heated through. This will help separate them out.
  • It is always advisable to do the mixing of pasta and sauce at serving time only. If done in advance, the pasta tends to get sticky and soggy as it absorbs the sauce.
  • Cream should always be mixed in and cooked on very low heat to avoid curdling.
  • Any cheese favorable to individual taste can be used.

Serve hot topped with: grated parmesan cheese

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