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Fun and quick pasta recipes like Cheese Tortellini in Garlic Butter Sauce, One Pot Pizza Pasta Bake and Pasta with Asparagus, Mushrooms, and Ham are perfect when you're short on time but want a good dinner.
This is one of my favorite quick dinners to prepare, whether you're short on time or not. It used to be my standing order at Noodles and Company, but now that I don't live near one, I started figuring out how to crack the cavatappi code and do it myself.
Because when you can't get to a Noodles, you have to bring the Noodles.
Ingredients of Pesto Cavatappi:
Here is everything you need to make this amazing dish:
- Cavatappi Any pasta actually works, but cavatappi is fun to eat and especially fun to say. Feel free to wear rotini, rigatoni, bow tie, whatever you have. Small to medium sized pasta works best, especially for small mouths.
- Tomatoes. whole diced tomatoes, or a handful of cherry tomatoes, cut in half.
- Mushrooms. Optional, but very good.
- Pesto. Made at home or store bought. Here is a version of kale too.
- Parmesan. Grated, please.
- Chicken soup.
- Dry white wine. Feel free to use extra chicken broth instead of wine.
- Thick cream. This makes the pasta deliciously creamy and irresistible.
- Olive oil. Because all good things start with a little olive oil.
- Salt. To salt the pasta water.
How to make Pesto Cavatappi:
You must cook your pasta first, so heat a large pot with at least 4 quarts of generously salted water until it boils.
Why do you leave the pasta water? Salting the water increases the boiling point of the water, but also gently season the pasta, which means you can use less salt overall in the recipe.
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Useful tip: In this recipe, you can use a little bit of the pasta water instead of the chicken stock, in case you're making a vegetarian version, or don't have chicken stock. The starches in the pasta water make the recipe rich and even creamier.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and sauté the mushrooms and tomatoes until the mushrooms release their liquid and the tomatoes are hot.
- Then add the broth, wine and cream and bring everything to a boil. Lower the heat and reduce the mixture until the sauce has thickened slightly. This should take about two minutes.
- After that, add the pesto and stir the sauce. Cook for a few more minutes.
- Once the pasta is cooked, add it to the sauce and stir gently until the sauce finds all the nooks and crannies in the pasta.
- So all you have to do is serve it in large bowls and garnish with grated Parmesan cheese. Magnificent!
Fun things to add to Pesto Cavatappi:
- Cavatappi Pesto with Chicken: Cook chicken pieces in olive oil before adding the tomatoes and mushrooms. Add the mushrooms and tomatoes for cooking when the chicken is just slightly pink, then continue with the recipe as directed.
- Or… add a can of cooked chicken breast to make dinner even faster.
- Shrimp and Pesto Cavatappi: absolutely! Shrimp cooks quickly, so add them to the pan with the mushrooms and tomatoes for cooking.
- Gluten-free pasta: brown rice pasta or any other gluten-free pasta is a great way to do this.
- Zucchini noodles: Super healthy dinner ahead! Prepare the sauce and add the raw zucchini ribbons. Serve when the zucchini is warm. Don't overcook it, because zucchini tastes better as pasta when it's still a little crispy.
Other excellent accessories:
- black olives
- Baby spinach
- The last two leftover bacon strips of the weekend
- Chopped sun dried tomatoes
More pesto recipes:
- Basil and walnut pesto
- Kale pesto
- Roasted Chicken Pesto
- Cheese bread with pesto
- Olive Pesto with Chicken
Type of cuisine American, Italian Preparation time: 3 minutes Cook time: 12 minutes Total time: 15 minutes Servings: 8 servings (1 cup) Calories: 433kcal
- 1 tablespoon of salt
- 1 pound cavatappi pasta or other small pasta
- 1 teaspoon of olive oil
- 1 large tomato, cored and diced
- 4 ounces sliced mushrooms (optional)
- 1/4 cup chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup dry white wine (see notes)
- ¼ cup thick whipped cream
- 1 cup homemade or store-bought pesto
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- In a large pot or stock pot, boil 4 quarts of water and salt. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 10 to 12 minutes. Drain well.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until bright. Add tomatoes and mushrooms (if using them) and cook for about 5 minutes, until part of the liquid has been released and the tomatoes are hot.
- Add the broth, wine and cream and bring to a boil; Reduce heat to medium and cook until sauce has thickened slightly, about 2 minutes.
- Add the pesto and stir until heated through, about 2 minutes. Add pasta and stir until evenly coated in sauce. Transfer to a serving plate or individual plates and garnish with Parmesan cheese.
More chicken broth can be used instead of white wine.
Calories :: 433kcal