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Penne with Pesto

Several years ago I clipped this recipe from a Woman's Day magazine - August 2004 - this recipe is adapted from Mario Batali's Ziti with Pesto. I have never seen ziti pasta in a regular grocery store so I always make it with penne. It's delicious served warm or cold. Personally, I like it warm with extra mozzarella melted on top. It's easy to make and will remind you of eating at some place special like The Macaroni Grill. My changes appear in the brackets in red.

1 cup fresh parsley leaves
1/2 cup each fresh mint and basil leaves
1/2 cup fennel fronds (optional) [I've never used them]
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons salt-packed capers, rinsed and drained
4 medium plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped [I always use the cheapest budget tomatoes available]
1/2 teaspoon each fresh ground black pepper and crush red pepper [I like short cuts - so I use whatever I have on hand... and I almost always use Sambal Oelek in place of crushed red pepper]
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound ziti pasta [penne pasta]
2/3 cup freshly grated Locatelli pecorino cheese [I use combination of Mozzarella and Parmesan
Garnish: crushed red pepper [optional]

1. Pesto: Put all ingredients in a blender and process until almost smooth. Scrape into a large bowl. Set aside 1 hour to blend flavors.

2. About 25 minutes before serving, bring 6 quart salted water to boil. Add ziti [penne] and cook as package directs until just al dente. Drain well, add pesto along with 1/2 cup of the cheese and toss to coat. Sprinkle with remaining cheese; garnish as desired.


Kay Heritage said…
This looks fantastic! Mmmm, I love pesto!

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