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Creamy Pesto Pasta

Creamy Pesto Pasta with fettuccine noodles, broccoli, and sun-dried tomatoes is tossed in a flavorful pesto Alfredo sauce. This pasta dish is simple to make and can be ready in 30 minutes or less!
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword creamy pesto pasta
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 497kcal
Cost $6.87

Ingredients

  • 10 ounces fettuccine noodles (not an entire box)
  • Fine sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • 2 cups chopped broccoli
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup prepared pesto (Note 1)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 3/4 cup sun-dried julienne-cut tomatoes packed in oil drained (Note 2)
  • Optional: 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (See Note 3), fresh basil, ribboned, additional Parmesan cheese for topping, red pepper flakes for heat.

Instructions

  • PASTA AND BROCCOLI: Bring a big pot of water to a boil. Generously salt the boiling water; I add a heaping tablespoon of salt. Add in the 10 ounces pasta and cook according to package directions until al dente. 2-3 minutes before the pasta will be done, add the 2 cups chopped broccoli to the boiling water, stir, and continue cooking until pasta is ready. Drain both and set aside for a minute.
  • PESTO SAUCE: Meanwhile, in a large skillet (big enough to hold all the pasta), add the 2 tablespoons butter. Heat over medium heat until melted and then add in the 1 and 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic. Stir for 1 minute or until fragrant. Lower the heat if it's sizzling or browning. Add in the 3/4 cup heavy cream and 1/4 cup chicken stock. Stir to warm through and then add in the 1/4 cup prepared pesto and 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Season the sauce to taste; I add in 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth. Lower the heat to low and add in the sun-dried tomatoes.
  • TOSS IN PASTA: Add the hot drained pasta and broccoli to the sauce and toss with tongs to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings; you may need an extra splash of heavy cream and/or chicken stock and an extra spoonful of pesto depending on how much sauce the pasta is absorbing. Remove from heat and divide onto plates.
  • FINISHING: If desired, top individual plates with additional freshly grated Parmesan cheese, toasted pine nuts (See Note 3), fresh basil, and an extra sprinkle of freshly cracked pepper (or red pepper flakes if you'd like some heat).

Notes

Note 1: The pesto is the most important ingredient in the cream sauce! Look for freshly made basil pesto (or make your own), not the preserved/jarred pesto. Freshly made pesto is typically near fresh (not dried) pasta or in the produce section of the store. My two favorites are Buitoni's® pesto with basil or Rana's® Basil pesto. I typically use Rana's basil pesto in this dish.
Note 2: I like to get the sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil and herbs because they add lots of flavor with no extra effort! I recommend getting the julienne-cut tomatoes to save you the step of chopping. 
Note 3: To toast pine nuts, place in a small saucepan over low heat. Lightly toast them until fragrant by stirring them over the low heat for about 2-4 minutes.

Nutrition

Serving: 4servings | Calories: 497kcal | Carbohydrates: 59.3g | Protein: 16.2g | Fat: 21.8g | Cholesterol: 39.9mg | Sodium: 368.7mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4.5g