• 12 ounces penne pasta
  • 1 (8.5-ounce) jar sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan

My dad always has the best ideas of what to make for dinner. We probably discuss our “dinners” a few times a week and then feed off each other for new ideas of what to make next. We are so weird sometimes. That’s why we get along so well. This past weekend I was over his house and he pulls out this sun-dried tomato pesto from the fridge and made me smell it. Wow. Even though I was drinking my coffee and it was 9am, the smell of basil, garlic, and tomato smells good at any hour!! Of course I had to put that on the menu for the week and here it is! Delicious!

Directions:

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid (Highlight that step!!!). Meanwhile, blend the sun-dried tomatoes and their oil, garlic, salt and pepper, to taste, and basil in a food processor and blend until the tomatoes are finely chopped. Transfer the tomato mixture to a large bowl. Stir in the Parmesan.  Add the pasta to a deep pan, then add the pesto and toss to coat, adding enough reserved cooking liquid to moisten. Heat pasta for about 5-10 minutes on medium heat stirring occasionally. At this time you can add your grilled chicken to the pan if you like OR you can top the pasta with grilled chicken. Season to taste, with salt and pepper and serve topped with fresh grated parmesan cheese.

*Grilled chicken on top is optional. I used a McCormick marinade packet, Garlic & Herb, one of my favorites. Grill your chicken, slice, and place on top.