Total:
30 min
Active:
15 min
Yield:
6 to 8 servings
Level:
Easy

Ingredients

  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound penne pasta 
  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and roughly chopped 
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped 
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed 
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil, chopped 
  • 1/4 cup grated pecorino cheese 
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish 
  • Pinch red pepper flakes 
  • Grated Parmesan, for garnish
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 1 minute less than the package instructions.

In a large mortar, add the sun-dried tomatoes, walnuts, garlic and a pinch of salt. Crush with the pestle until a paste forms. Add the basil and pecorino and crush again. Drizzle in the olive oil and a pinch of red pepper flakes and mix and pound until a fairly smooth paste forms.

Drain the pasta, reserving a ladleful of pasta water, and combine the pasta with the pesto. Mix together and use a few splashes of pasta water to loosen the pesto. Serve garnished with some grated Parmesan (just a touch), fresh ground pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.

Cook's Note

Important: Dose your sauce. Some people like the sauce thin, others like it very dense, which basically means less or more sauce that goes in the pasta. The tradition is to use a small ladle of the pasta water--the one you boiled the pasta in--and use it to dilute the sauce when you mix it in the pasta.

IDEAS YOU'LL LOVE

Penne alla Vodka

Recipe courtesy of Food Network

Roasted Tomato Penne alla Vodka

Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray

Veal in the Style of Trieste, with Red Cabbage: Scaloppine alla Triestina e Cavolo Rosso alla

Recipe courtesy of Mario Batali

Pesto Chicken Penne

Recipe courtesy of Siba Mtongana

Pesto Chicken Penne

Recipe courtesy of Siba Mtongana

Penne alla Puttane d'Elba

Recipe courtesy of Mario Batali

Penne with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis

Pesto

Recipe courtesy of David Rocco

Pesto

Recipe courtesy of Mario Batali

Cooking Tips

How to Poach Eggs Perfectly

Watch videos from Cooking Channel shows and chefs. Learn to prepare feature recipes and relive your favorite moments

On TV

Eat St.

10:30am | 9:30c

Eat St.

11am | 10c

Eat St.

11:30am | 10:30c

Eat St.

12pm | 11c

Eat St.

12:30pm | 11:30c

Eat St.

1pm | 12c

Eat St.

1:30pm | 12:30c

Eat St.

2pm | 1c

Eat St.

2:30pm | 1:30c

Donut Showdown

3:30pm | 2:30c

Donut Showdown

4:30pm | 3:30c

Donut Showdown

5:30pm | 4:30c

Donut Showdown

6:30pm | 5:30c

Donut Showdown

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Unwrapped

8pm | 7c

Unwrapped

8:30pm | 7:30c

Unwrapped

9pm | 8c

Unwrapped

9:30pm | 8:30c

Unwrapped

10pm | 9c

Unwrapped

10:30pm | 9:30c

Good Eats

11pm | 10c

Good Eats

11:30pm | 10:30c

Unwrapped

12am | 11c

Unwrapped

12:30am | 11:30c

Unwrapped

1am | 12c

Unwrapped

1:30am | 12:30c

Unwrapped

2am | 1c

Unwrapped

2:30am | 1:30c

Good Eats

3am | 2c

Good Eats

3:30am | 2:30c

So Much Pretty Food Here