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Statewide Food 0

Penne with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto


Looking for a light and easy recipe to liven up your taste buds? Then check out this quick one-pot Penne with Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta recipe in “What’s Cookin’ at First Security Vol. 2.”

As a first-time empty nester, this new stage of life comes with some adjustments in the kitchen. I’m down to cooking for two, which has me browsing the cookbook through a whole new set of eyes. Not only am I looking for recipes that feed just the 2 of us, but I’m also looking for recipes that can be easily cut in half. While I only prepared half of this recipe for my husband and me, I’m listing the full original recipe below.

Easy Peasy Pleasy Tips

  • Save some pasta water before draining. Use a measuring cup to dip in and reserve that starchy goodness.
  • Use the same pasta pot to toss all the ingredients together for easy cleanup.
  • If you aren’t a fan of basil, use fresh parsley instead. Or you could use half basil and half parsley for a milder basil taste.
  • Want to make this simple recipe even easier? Use a store-bought container of sun-dried tomato pesto.
  • Here are some easy add-ins:
    grilled chicken
    smoked sausage
    sautéed shrimp
    Boursin Cheese
    heavy cream

Don’t forget to add salt and pepper to taste, then top with fresh basil and shaved Parmesan cheese.

This refreshing pasta dish came together in 20 minutes, and the cleanup was super easy.

Penne With Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto


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


Cook pasta in a large pot of salted water until al dente. Drain pasta and reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Blend sun-dried tomatoes and their oil, garlic, and basil in a food processor until tomatoes are finely chopped. Transfer the tomato mixture to a large bowl; stir in Parmesan. Add pasta to pesto and toss to coat, adding enough reserved pasta water to moisten. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Thank you to Kyle Vann for this amazing Penne with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto. There are over 800 recipes in the “What’s Cookin’ at First Security Vol. 2,” all submitted by employees and customers. Proceeds from the sales go to the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance to help feed people across the state. You can purchase the cookbooks for $20 at any First Security Bank location.

For more recipes from the cookbook, click here.

Meet the

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A little about .

Well-known Arkansas food writer and recipe creator Lacie Ring was born and raised right here in Arkansas. Although her husband’s military career took them around the world, he and Lacie settled back in their home state. Lacie blogs at www.easypeasypleasy.com where she creates easy and delicious recipes for busy families. She is also a recipe creator and food photographer for brands local to Arkansas and abroad. In her spare time, Lacie enjoys spending time with her son and husband camping and enjoying the outdoors.

Read more stories by Lacie Ring


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