Penne Pasta with Spanish Pesto

Penne Pasta with Pesto

We all know about the great gift the Italian´s have given to the food world, pasta, it is one of the most versatile ingredients that you can work with. It can be prepared in so many different ways, with so many different types of sauces, and always creates a memorable dish. Pesto sauce, also created by the Italian´s, is a simple sauce made with simple ingredients, yet packs a huge flavor. I decided to grab these two Italian favorties and create a new twist on an Italian classic, penne pasta with pesto. Being from Spain, I decided to add a Spanish flare to it, by swapping some ingredients and adding a bit more depth of flavor to this dish. Watch the video below on how to make this version of penne pasta with pesto, and be prepared to enjoy an incredible dish of pasta, that is made in under 30 minutes. Salud!

Penne Pasta with Spanish Pesto
Serves 2
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. (2) Cups Whole Wheat Macaroni
  2. (2) Cups Tightly Packed Fresh Spinach
  3. (1) Clove of Garlic
  4. (1) Tbsp Pine Nuts
  5. (1) Tbsp Blanched Almonds
  6. (1/8) Cup Aged Manchego Cheese
  7. (2) Basil Leafs
  8. (1/3) Cup Extra Virgin Spanish Olive Oil
  9. (5) Sweet Cherry Tomatoes
  10. Sea Salt
  11. Freshly Cracked Pepper
Instructions
  1. Fill a large stock pot half way with water, add a generous pinch of sea salt, 1 tablespoon of extra virgin Spanish olive oil and turn the heat to high
  2. Grab a small non-stick frying pan, heat with a medium heat and dry roast 1 tbsp of pine nuts and 1 tbsp of blanched almonds for about 3 minutes or until lightly roasted
  3. Coarsely chop 2 tightly packed cups of spinach and add to a mortar
  4. Finely mince 1 clove of garlic and add to the mortar with the spinach
  5. Add the toasted pinenuts and almonds to the mortar and mash everything together for about 2 minutes
  6. Add 2 fresh basil leaves to the mortar and continue to mash all the ingredients together for another 2 minutes
  7. Season the mixture with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper and add about 1/8 cup of freshly grated dry-aged Manchego cheese and mix everything together
  8. Next start pouring in some extra virgin Spanish olive oil into the mortar in a slow stream, while stirring the mixture with the pessel until you reach a creamy texture
  9. Cover the mortar with seran wrap and set aside
  10. Once your water begins to boil add 2 cups of whole wheat macaroni to the stock pot
  11. After about 9 minutes, the pasta should be perfectly cooked al dente, drain the pasta and add to a large bowl
  12. Cut 5 sweet cherry tomatoes in half and add to the bowl with the pasta and season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
  13. Add the pesto sauce to the bowl and mix everything together
  14. Transfer the pasta to 2 plates and garish each plate with a basil leaf
  15. Enjoy!
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