45 – 60 min
Penne Baked in Sundried Tomato Pesto
with Fresh Greens & Berries
- 1 lb penne
- 10 slices thick cut bacon, cut into thin sliced bits
- ½ to ¾ c sundried tomato pesto (use the whole jar if you like!) (you can substitue plain tomato sauce)
- ½ c kalamata olives, sliced
- 2 c baby spinach
- 1 tub bocconcini minis or slices
- Fresh cracked pepper to taste
- 4 c fresh salad greens
- ½ c cherry tomatoes, halved
- ½ c fresh berries (blackberries are perfect if they are available, but any berry will do!)
- 1/3 English cucumber, cubed
- Olive oil and Balsamic Vinegar to dress salads
- Fresh grated Parmesan or Asiago to garnish
Step by Step Instructions
Cook pasta as per package instructions to just off al dente. You don’t need to cook it completely as it will continue cooking when it is baked.
In a heavy skillet, cook the bacon until it begins to cripify – again, it does not need to be fully cooked as it will continue cooking with the pasta.
Heat the oven to 350.
Place cooked penne, sundried tomato pesto (as much as little or as much as you like – use the whole jar if you are moved to do so!), kalamata olives, spinach, and bacon into a large bowl and toss well until pasta is well coated. Scoop the mix into a greased 9×13 baking dish and distribute it evenly. Scatter bocconcini and fresh cracked pepper over top of the pasta and place it into the oven for 30 minutes.
Share salad greens over 4 plates and scatter tomatoes, berries, and cucumber over each salad. When the penne is finished baking place a healthy serving beside each salad, sprinkle with Parmesan or Asiago cheese, and drizzle the salads with a little olive oil and balsamic – Serve and enjoy this richly layered savory sensation!