Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Penne Rustica

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Penne Rustica_010512_0004

Dinner in the amount of time it takes to boil water and cook pasta?  Oh yeah!  This dish is perfect for a weeknight or a busy day when you need something on the plate fast but you want some wholesomeness also.

imageI’ve been posting about the different sun dried tomato products that Bella Sun Luci sent me, this time I used their Sun Dried Tomato Pesto.  I was pleasantly surprised to be able to actually see the pine nuts in the pesto, there really were whole pine nuts!  The pesto was nice and chunky, a really hearty sauce with good tomato and basil flavor.

I made this dish one night when we got home horribly late, I didn’t take any photos…we were famished and devoured it inhumanly fast.  Forget manners, we were snorting and groaning and shoveling the food in, barely taking breathes between bites. It wasn’t just because we were starvin marvins, although that had something to do with it; mostly it was just plain ol’ good stick to your ribs kinda food…can you believe it was meatless (shhh, don’t tell the boys, I don’t think they noticed).

We like things a little spicy, so I used a few red pepper flakes to give it some punch.  But that’s entirely up to you, it would be just as good without.  I served this with some Simple Artisan Bread, it was just right to round off the meal, that and a glass of red wine Winking smile

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Penne Rustica_010512_0025

The creaminess of the cannellini beans really make this dish, if you can’t find them you can substitute Great Northern Beans with similar results.  Don’t skimp on the parmigiana reggiano if you can help it, a simple dish like this begs for the best parmigiana!


Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Penne Rustica
Serves 4
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
  1. 8 ounces Penne, cooked according to package directions
  2. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  3. 1/2 onion, rough dice
  4. 4 ounces Bella Sun Luci Sun Dried Tomato Pesto
  5. 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  6. 2 cups baby spinach leaves, washed and dried
  7. 1 (15 oz.) can cannellini beans
  8. Salt to taste
  9. Parmigiano Reggiano, shaved
  1. In a large non-stick pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When hot add onions and saute until onioin are tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add pesto and crushed red pepper flakes, heat through (another 1 to 2 minutes). Add spinach and cook just until spinach wilts, add beans and stir to mix.
  2. With a slotted spoon, scoop out pasta and add to pesto mixture. Stir gently to mix, salt to taste. Serve immediately and garnish with Parmigiano Reggiano.
The Kitchen Witch

Informal Cookery Definitions A to Z

Anchovy.  Anchovies are a tiny fish found in the Mediterranean Sea, they can be eaten fresh but are very perishable so their most common form is salted and canned. Anchovies are often seen on pizza or used to top canapés.  However they have a very strong salty flavor that doesn’t appeal to many people, you’ll more often find them used as ingredient, such as in Caesar Salad.  Anchovies can also be purchased in paste form.

Andalouse. (ahn-dah-LOOZ) or À L’Andalucía (ah lah ann-dah-loo-SEE-ah).  Interesting tidbit…The wife of Napoleon III (Empress Eugenie) was from the Andalucia province of Southern Spain, because of this many classic French dishes also bear this name.  Typically the dish will use olive oil, onions, garlic, parsley, pimiento, and tomato like they commonly use in Andalucia.

Angel Cake Pan.  A ten-inch tube pan where the inner tube is removable.  They typically have small legs for inverting and cooling Angel’s Food Cake.

Angels on Horseback.  A hot appetizer of oysters wrapped with bacon strips and grilled.

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9 Responses to Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Penne Rustica

  1. Colleen Bierstine January 13, 2012 at 7:13 pm #

    Oh man, this is a beautiful plate of pasta! Penne is my favorite. I really like the mini dictionary you’ve bee including in your posts. Very helpful, and a great idea!

    • Giggles January 14, 2012 at 8:49 am #

      Thanks Colleen, the dictionary is helping me also 😉

  2. Kay January 14, 2012 at 1:38 am #

    Yes, please! This looks divine, and ‘m not even a really big pasta fan.

    • Giggles January 14, 2012 at 8:51 am #

      Kay, I am a big fan of pasta, which is why it’s good for me to skip the meat once and awhile.

  3. Karen January 14, 2012 at 8:15 am #

    Quick, easy, and good… perfect meal! I like meatless pasta dishes, but I always have to throw some meat on Barry’s plate. LOL

    • Giggles January 14, 2012 at 8:53 am #

      Karen, my boys certainly wouldn’t have complained if I threw some meat on the side, but honestly I don’t think they even noticed it was missing any!

  4. Sarah January 14, 2012 at 9:37 am #

    Where can you buy the pesto.?

    • Giggles January 14, 2012 at 10:02 am #

      Sarah, if your local grocery store doesn’t carry it you can purchase it online at Mooney Farms, it’s $4.99 for an 8 ounce jar (I used half in this recipe).

  5. Eliot January 14, 2012 at 9:51 am #

    OK Rhonda—There has been more than one time that we have been on the same wavelength! Scary! 🙂 I am going to try pasta with just beans sans the sausage next time.