As I explained last week, Little J was under the weather. When one of us is ill, our dinner themes quickly fall into one of these two categories: 1. What do we already have in the fridge? 2. Who delivers the fastest? This recipe is one of my favorites and falls into category 1 because for the most part I always have everything in my fridge. Since it is no longer summer and my basil plants have died (Texas summer’s fault, not mine) that is the only ingredient that I need to purchase this time of year. This originally was a Giada De Laurentiis recipe but I have adapted it slightly. Not to say mine is better than the great GD (I’m sure she’d be the first to point out that I say spaghetti incorrectly) but the M family seems to like it. GD’s can be found here.
My version is doubled for one, but I also use sun-dried tomatoes not in oil along with the jarred kind. In addition, the pinch of red pepper flakes add a very slight heat to the dish. I normally make this pesto during nap time, throw it in the fridge and then take it out when I’m ready for it. You can enjoy this as is spread on a crostini or cracker, over pasta for a vegetarian dish or add in a yummy protein. We have used grilled chicken, Italian sausage and chicken sausage. All three options are delicious but my favorite is the spicy Italian sausage. It gives a little zing to the pasta without bring too intense.
Sun-dried Tomato Pesto with Spicy Italian Sausage
1 8oz jar sun-dried tomatoes
1 8oz container of sun-dried tomatoes
3 garlic cloves
S and P
2 cup of fresh basil leaves
¼ cup fresh parsley (optional)
Pinch of red pepper flake
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 cup of grated Parmesan
1 Box of Penne Pasta
1 package of Spicy Italian Sausage
- Using a food processor, combine the sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, basil, parsley and red pepper flakes. Drizzle in a little extra olive oil (1 tablespoon) if needed to get the right consistency.
- Stir in ¾ of a cup of the Parmesan
At this point you can place your pesto in a Tupperware if making ahead of time!
- Slice up the Italian sausage
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan and add the sausage. Remove sausage once it is cooked and placed on a paper towel to absorb oil
- Add your pasta to salted boiling water and cook until desired consistency (Al dente in the M house.)
- Place your pesto at the base of your serving dish. Pile on the hot pasta and stir to warm up the pesto. Add the sausage and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan cheese and basil