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Rigatoni with Basil Pesto

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  • 30 min prep time
  • 30 min total time
  • 7 ingredients
  • 4 servings
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This Italian-inspired dish is a quick fix for a delicious dinner - toss pasta with cheesy basil pesto for a 30-minute one-pot meal.

Ingredients

Rigatoni

1/2
teaspoon salt (for cooking pasta), if desired
3
cups uncooked rigatoni pasta (8 oz)

Basil Pesto

1
cup fresh basil leaves
2
cloves garlic
1/3
cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3
cup olive or vegetable oil
2
tablespoons pine nuts or walnut pieces

Steps

  • 1 Fill a 4-quart Dutch oven about half full of water. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt if desired. Cover with lid; heat over high heat until the water is boiling rapidly. Add the pasta. Heat to boiling again. Boil uncovered 14 to 16 minutes, stirring frequently, until tender but not mushy. While the water is heating and the pasta is cooking, continue with the recipe to make the pesto.
  • 2 To measure basil, firmly pack basil leaves into a measuring cup. Use a measuring cup for measuring dry ingredients. Rinse the basil leaves with cool water, and pat dry thoroughly with a paper towel or clean, dry kitchen towel. Peel the garlic cloves.
  • 3 In a food processor or blender, place the basil leaves, garlic, cheese, oil and pine nuts. Cover and process, stopping occasionally to scrape sides with rubber spatula, until smooth.
  • 4 Place a strainer or colander in the sink. Pour the pasta in the strainer to drain, and place in a large serving bowl or back in the Dutch oven. Immediately pour the pesto over the hot pasta, and toss until pasta is well coated. Serve with additional grated Parmesan cheese if desired.
  • 1 Fill a 4-quart Dutch oven about half full of water. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt if desired. Cover with lid; heat over high heat until the water is boiling rapidly. Add the pasta. Heat to boiling again. Boil uncovered 14 to 16 minutes, stirring frequently, until tender but not mushy. While the water is heating and the pasta is cooking, continue with the recipe to make the pesto.
  • 2 To measure basil, firmly pack basil leaves into a measuring cup. Use a measuring cup for measuring dry ingredients. Rinse the basil leaves with cool water, and pat dry thoroughly with a paper towel or clean, dry kitchen towel. Peel the garlic cloves.
  • 3 In a food processor or blender, place the basil leaves, garlic, cheese, oil and pine nuts. Cover and process, stopping occasionally to scrape sides with rubber spatula, until smooth.
  • 4 Place a strainer or colander in the sink. Pour the pasta in the strainer to drain, and place in a large serving bowl or back in the Dutch oven. Immediately pour the pesto over the hot pasta, and toss until pasta is well coated. Serve with additional grated Parmesan cheese if desired.

Expert Tips

blender or food processor

Substitute 3/4 cup firmly packed fresh cilantro leaves and 1/4 cup firmly packed fresh parsley leaves for the fresh basil.

Substitute 1 cup firmly packed fresh spinach leaves and 1/4 cup firmly packed fresh basil leaves (or 2 tablespoons dried basil leaves) for the 1 cup fresh basil.

Use pesto immediately because it will darken as it is exposed to the air. Or store the pesto immediately by placing in an airtight container and refrigerate up to 5 days or freeze up to 1 month.

Firmly pack basil leaves into dry meausuring cup.

Place pesto ingredients into food processor. Cover and process until smooth.

Nutrition Information

NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING

Serving Size: 1 Serving
Calories
470
Calories from Fat
220
% Daily Value
Total Fat
25g
38%
Saturated Fat
4 1/2g
23%
Trans Fat
0g
Cholesterol
5mg
2%
Sodium
135mg
6%
Potassium
160mg
5%
Total Carbohydrate
50g
17%
Dietary Fiber
3g
15%
Sugars
1g
Protein
13g
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A
10%
10%
Vitamin C
2%
2%
Calcium
10%
10%
Iron
15%
15%
Exchanges:
3 1/2 Starch; 0 Fruit; 0 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 0 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 0 Lean Meat; 0 High-Fat Meat; 4 1/2 Fat;
Carbohydrate Choice
3
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
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