Red pesto pasta with mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes and sage bread crumbs. This pasta tastes like a mash-up of a spicy arrabbiata sauce and a vibrant sun-dried tomato sauce. This version is definitely stealing the show. The hearty red pesto tossed with mushrooms is pure heaven. The crunchy bread crumbs are like the icing on a cake, and the sage just seals the deal. It’s the ultimate weeknight meal, but certainly special enough to serve on a date night.
Both mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes deliver an enormous dose of umami-packed flavor. Sun-dried tomatoes elevate this dish into a killer pasta recipe with basically no additional effort at all.
We start by sautéing the pine nuts in the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes together with garlic. Lots of garlic! Most pasta recipes call for one or two cloves of garlic, which never seems enough. Then we add some tomato paste and parmesan, and blend everything into a chunky paste.
Once the pesto is ready, we sauté the mushrooms and add the sun-dried tomatoes, stir in cooked pasta with some cooking water to help the pasta absorb the flavors of the sauce, top with sage bread crumbs and you’re ready to go.
And that red pesto? I’m telling you, it’s magic. It will guaranteed kick your pasta night up a delicious notch. —Anna Chwistek | Serving Dumplings
We start by making the pesto. In a saucepan, add oil from the sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts and garlic. Sauté for 3-4 minutes until fragrant on low heat. Add tomato paste and sun-dried tomatoes. Cook for 1 minute more, then turn off the heat. Stir in balsamic vinegar, chili flakes, salt and pepper. Add parmesan and mix with an immersion blender, leaving some chunks. Set aside.
Boil the pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water.