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Penne with Creamy Pesto Sauce

Love me some pesto…it’s one of my favorite summer flavors. Pesto. It’s such a beautiful and delectable sauce. It’s so fresh and tantalizing and, let’s face it, slightly addictive.

It can be made inexpensively with herbs from the garden, but it can be expensive to buy in the store. So when I do buy a container, I like to stretch it out by thinning it with some milk or cream, and then tossing with pasta and Parmesan cheese. It makes for a perfect light summer lunch, or dinner when paired with some grilled chicken and veggies.

In truth, I’ve been seen spooning it right out of the container, but generally I just spread it on plain crackers or a thin slice of bread.  I love adding it to sandwiches, paninis and the inside of burgers. Making homemade pesto  from the herbs in your garden can push the delicious factor up about 12 notches.

This is a recipe for a simple, summer pasta salad at its best – pasta, pesto and parmesan!


Penne with Creamy Pesto Sauce

Yield – 4 servings

Preparation Time – 10 minutes

Cooking Time – 10 minutes


  • 1 1/2 cup (12 ounces) whole-wheat penne pasta
  • 1/2 cup store-bought or homemade pesto
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Shredded parmesan cheese
  • Fresh basil leaves for garnish


  • Boil the penne noodles for 7-8 min, drain and rinse with cool water.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the pesto and milk. Toss with the cooled pasta. Top with shredded Parmesan cheese and garnish with fresh basil leaves.

What is your favorite summer pasta salad recipe?

Recipe originally posted on SCJohnson.com.