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Spice up the evening with this Penne and Chipotle Pecan Pesto for dinner! It’s a flavorful, satisfying meal that comes together in a hurry!
I’ve always loved pasta for many reasons. But especially since I got married and became the primary cook at our house, I appreciate it because it’s so versatile and simple to prepare. There are so many options for add-ins and sauces that can really ramp up the flavor! It’s something that I can dress up for a fancy weekend occasion or keep low-key for a casual weeknight solution. No matter how I decide to serve it, it always impresses! Plus, I can have a hearty dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes, which is a huge deal.
Pasta is one of those things I can enjoy multiple times a week and never grow tired of it. Do you feel the same way?
That’s why I keep my pantry stocked with Barilla Penne, so when I get that serious pasta craving, I can whip some up on a whim and get my fix!
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I purchased all the ingredients for today’s delicious dish at my local Albertsons.
My husband and I LOVE spice and colorful food that packs a huge flavor punch! You could say we’re obsessed. We were discussing the other day how each of the recipes we prepare has some degree of heat. The intensity varies, depending on the day and our mood. 🙂
The bottom line is, we are definitely not a fan of the bland at our house! So, I put together an incredible chipotle pecan pesto to accompany our Barilla Penne. Let me warn you, it is spicy, but so good! The toasted pecans, combined with the gorgeous red chipotles, lend an element of excitement to every bite! If you’re feeling zealous (like we were), you can leave the chipotle seeds in or simply remove them to take the heat level down quite a few notches.
A little pesto goes a long way because of the intense chipotle flavors. So I suggest first plating your penne, then allowing everyone to toss it in the desired amount of pesto, depending on how much heat they are going for. Then, garnish it with fresh parmesan and chopped basil for a pretty finishing touch!
Here’s a photo collage demonstrating how it all comes together.
Penne with Chipotle Pecan Pesto
- 1/2 c. pecans toasted (I put moved them around a frying pan over the heat for a bit)
- 2 cans 7 oz. each chipotles in adobo sauce (remove seeds for less heat, wear gloves)
- 1/2 c. olive oil
- 3 tsp. minced garlic
- 1/2 c. freshly-grated parmesan
- 1/4 tsp. salt or to taste
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- chopped basil and freshly grated parmesan for garnish
- 2 lb. Barilla Penne cooked according to package directions and drained
- In a food processor or blender, add toasted pecans, chipotles, olive oil, garlic, parmesan, salt and sugar. Puree until smooth. Pour sauce into a pan over the stove top and heat through.
- Pour desired amount of pesto over each portion of penne and toss to coat. A little goes a long way. Garnish with fresh basil and parmesan and enjoy immediately.
If you’re not afraid of spice, your taste buds are going to do the happy dance when they get a load of this!
Sometimes it’s fun taking a less traditional route with pasta by adding things like today’s chipotle pesto instead of a tomato-based or cream sauce! It was a very memorable mealtime experience! This makes enough to feed a crowd, so invite all your spice-loving friends over and enjoy!