The concept of Meatless Monday amuses me. I’m Catholic. Why have meatless Monday when every Friday is supposed to be meatless?
While, technically, Catholics are supposed to eat meatless on Fridays all year, most only give up meat during the Fridays of Lent. And, honestly, I’m one of them. (That said, my family does still have pancake Fridays in our house year round.) When my husband and I look at the calendar and realize that Ash Wednesday is approaching, we start to prepare our menu for the next several weeks.
Lucky for us, there are lots of great meatless pasta options. We adore pasta and so do our girls. On Ash Wednesday this year, we tried a new pesto dish, from Annie’s Eats, and it was an instant hit. And, even better, it took only 15 minutes to make. Seriously! I did adjust the recipe a bit, though, because I’m allergic to pine nuts (well, I’m highly allergic to pine trees so I’ve been told to avoid pine nuts).
Whether you are Catholic, like me, and eat meatless meals on Friday or go for that alliterative Meatless Monday, this dish of Roasted Red Pepper & Basil Pesto Penne will be a hit with your family!
- 1 lb penne rigate pasta
- 1 C fresh basil leaves
- 1 C roasted red peppers (jarred in oil)
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1/3 C freshly grated Parmesan
- 1/4 C olive oil
- 1/4 C heavy cream
- Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
- Bring water to a boil. Add salt to water then add penne. Cook until the pasta is al dente.
- As you bring the pasta water to a boil, start on the sauce by placing basil, peppers, garlic, lemon juice, Parmesan, and salt and pepper in a food processor. Pulse until well combined.
- Add oil and pulse until mixed thoroughly.
- Add cream and pulse until blended well.
- Drain pasta and put back in pot. Add sauce and toss until well coated.
- Serve immediately!
- Tastes especially great when served with a nice loaf of bread and a salad.