Tired of constantly adding hot sauce to your pasta? Simply add a little heat to your sauce instead! This past weekend I worked on making a spicy pesto sauce, which sat perfectly on the ridges of rigatoni when baked in the oven and of course tasted delicious with some melted mozzarella cheese.
Servings: 4-5 people
3 tbsp ready-made pesto (I used Granda Tradizioni Pesto alla Genovese with basil; so far this is the best store-bought pesto I’ve ever tasted. It’s thick and has a great taste, but it’s also salty which is why I added more pine nuts and spinach to the mixture.)
1 1/2 cup spinach
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
4 tbsp olive oil + 1 tsp olive oil
Juice from half a lemon
2 small chipotle peppers, 2 tsp adobe sauce (I found a can in my grocery store that contained both the chipotle peppers and adobe sauce mixed together. This pesto turned out pretty spicy, so you can add less chipotle peppers and adobe sauce according to your taste.)
- Place 1 tsp of oil in a small skillet on low-medium heat. Add the pine nuts and half a cup spinach to the skillet. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until the pine nuts are golden-brown.
- Place all the ingredients in a food processor except for the chipotle peppers and blend on high until the mixture is smooth. Scrape any of the pesto down from the sides and add 1 chipotle pepper at a time, adjusting to your taste. Blend until smooth.
1/2 box rigatoni (3 cups of dry pasta)
1 1/2 cups- 2 cups roasted red pepper (I used a jarred roasted red pepper that had been marinated in vinegar.)
1/2 a zucchini
4 white pearl onions (or half a white onion)
1 clove garlic
3 tbsp olive oil + 1 tsp olive oil
4 tbsp goat cheese
4 slices mozzarella cheese (optional)
2 tbsp parmigiano reggiano
Pinch of salt
3 tsp fresh oregano, washed and dried
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Boil water in a large pot for the pasta. Once the water is boiling, place the rigatoni in the pot and cook according to instructions on the box. Add 1 tsp olive oil and a pinch of salt to the pot and stir occasionally with a wooden slotted spoon. After the pasta is cooked, drain the pasta in a colander and pour cold water over it.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat up 1 tsp of olive oil on medium-low heat in a skillet and add the garlic to it. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until the garlic changes color.
- Slice the mushrooms, roasted red pepper and zucchini. Cut the pearl onions in half. Place all vegetables and garlic in a large bowl and mix with 2 tbsp olive oil and season with black pepper.
- Grease your baking dish with 1 tbsp olive oil (make sure to get all the corners!) Add half of the cooked pasta to the baking dish, half of the veggies, and half of the pesto to the baking dish. Mix with a wooden spoon. Place the goat throughout the dish. Add the rest of the pasta, veggies and cover with pesto. Top with the mozzarella slices and shred some parmigiano reggiano on top (if you decide not to use mozzarella, you could add more parmigiano reggiano.)
- Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese turns golden-brown. Shift the dish to the top rack of your oven and broil for 2 minutes.
- Remove from oven and top with the oregano.