Recipe: Pasta Pennine and Homemade Pesto
My favorite pasta to eat is Penne. The long, thin ridges soak in the sauce and cheese, giving each bite lots of flavor! It has become a favorite in our home and my "go to" pasta. When I make penne for my family, I always need to cut the noodles in half for my girls. This makes it easier for them to pick up and safer to chew.
Now, Rienzi makes a delicious "mini penne" or Pennine that doesn't need to be cut and still has those flavor-filled ridges that everyone loves!
You will need:
Rienzi "i bambini" Mini Pasta Pennine
Pesto (see recipe for homemade pesto below)
Shaved parmesan cheese
Small bite-sized pieces of grilled chicken breast
(Chef's Note: You can really add in any vegetable of your choice. Use what you have available in your kitchen! In our house we enjoy tomatoes with pesto so that is my selection for this dish)
Make your own PESTO:
3 cups packed fresh basil leaves
3 cloves garlic
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts
*Combine all ingredients: basil, garlic, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, and nuts in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Blend to a smooth paste.
1. Follow directions on the pasta box and boil the mini pennine until al dente!
2. Dice the tomato into small tiny pieces, removing the seeds along the way. An easy way to do this is to slice the tomato into 4 quarters and squeeze the seeds out of each quadrant and then finish dicing
3. In a large skillet lightly greased with olive oil, pour in the steaming hot cooked pasta and sprinkle on the parmesan cheese. When the pasta is this hot, the cheese will melt directly onto the pennine, seep into the ridges and add to its flavor.
4. Keep pasta warm over low heat, adding in the diced tomatoes, grilled chicken, pesto and extra garlic powder and olive oil for taste and consistency if needed. Mix everything together thoroughly and serve with extra parmesan sprinkled on top! Mangia! Mangia!