This creamy pesto could very well be your next obsession. The hearty sun-dried tomato ricotta pesto is a velvety, flavor packed sauce that might make you crave for pasta night. It’s bright, light and satisfying. Pesto is an insanely flexible and delicious sauce. In this recipe, we use semi-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, ricotta and a little bit of delicate white miso for an intensely vibrant, smooth pesto. Because the sauce is so rich, we can keep this dish simple and only add crispy baked pancetta. Once the pasta is cooked, we toss it with the pesto and top with toasted pine nuts. It’s ready in no-time and incredibly delicious. Pesto and pasta are a match made in heaven, but this pesto is also heavenly when spread onto sandwiches stuffed with roasted vegetables. No pancetta? Use bacon or swap it for shrimps. Or leave it out for a brilliant vegetarian dinner. Serve with a simple salad drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. —Anna Chwistek | Serving Dumplings
(7.1 oz) pasta, like rigatoni, paccheri or penne
(5.9 oz) pancetta, or bacon, cut into cubes
Boil the pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water.
Add sun-dried tomatoes, ricotta, pine nuts, lemon juice, miso, chili flakes, smoked paprika and black pepper to your food processor. Purée until finely chopped. Add oil and process until smooth.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add pancetta and cook, 3 minutes. Discard any excess fat from pancetta, if needed. Add pine nuts, cook, tossing often, until pancetta is browned and crisp, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté until soft over low heat, 1-2 minutes.
Add pesto and bring to a simmer over low heat, about 1 minute. Just until warmth through and well combined with pancetta, then immediately turn off the heat. Add pasta and 1/4 pasta water, toss while adding more cooking liquid until pasta is glossy and well coated with sauce. Taste and add more black pepper if needed. (If you’re not using pancetta, taste and add salt)
Divide pasta among bowls. Sprinkle with extra freshly ground black pepper and garnish with thyme, eat!