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When Barilla asked me to create a simple, one-pan recipe for this time-strapped millennial, I was up for the challenge. It can be such a struggle to prepare a healthy and nutritious dinner on demand most nights because, like many of you, I’m juggling a full-time job, two little kids and trying to keep up with my blog. Dinner often takes a back seat to all my other priorities.
Finally, There’s No Boil, No Drain Pasta
Even if you’re super busy or a novice home chef, you can still create a delicious meal in very little time with not too much effort. Enter Barilla Pronto Pasta! Voted the 2016 Best Food & Beverage Product by BrandSpark/Better Homes and Gardens American Shopper Study, this pasta is awesome because it cooks in ten minutes, without having to boil or drain water. This pasta makes cooking at home quick, easy and attainable.
I created this Caprese pesto penne pasta recipe using the Barilla penne pasta and pesto sauce along with fresh mini mozzarella balls and cherry tomatoes I picked up at my local Walmart store. I came up with this recipe because Caprese salad is one of my favorite Italian combinations. I love the mix of the fresh tomatoes, basil, olive oil and of course, cheese. I thought mixing the fresh ingredients with warm pasta would bring out their flavors even more, and I was right!
This Caprese pesto penne pasta is super simple to make, yet seems fancy for a home-cooked meal. Using the freshest ingredients makes it even more appealing. After cooking the pasta for 10 minutes, waiting for all the water to evaporate, I simply added the Barilla pesto sauce, tomatoes, mozzarella balls, and topped it all with fresh basil for a herbaceous punch. It is that simple!
A Healthy Dinner in Less Than 20 Minutes!
The entire dish took me no more than 20 minutes to create from start to finish. This Caprese pesto penne pasta dish is super attainable, extra flavorful, and a healthy dinner option you can prepare in one pan. Using the Barilla Pronto pasta made the entire thing such a cinch to make. Not having to boil and drain the water saved on cooking time and since I only used one pan, clean-up was super simple.
If you’re busy like me and you often have difficulty finding the time to cook or you are just learning to cook, this Barilla Pronto pasta is the perfect base for creating a healthy, authentic Italian meal in a snap. If you’d like to try this Caprese pesto penne pasta recipe, follow the simple steps below.
Caprese Pesto Penne Pasta
Barilla Pronto Penne Pasta
Barilla Pesto Sauce
3 cups cold water
1 cup fresh cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 8 oz container of mini mozzarella balls, drained
Fresh Basil (optional)
Add the penne to a large pan or skillet and add 3 cups of cold water.
Turn the stove top burner on high and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, until the water is nearly all gone.
Once the pasta is cooked and the water is evaporated, remove from the hot burner and add the pesto sauce. Mix well.
Add the halved tomatoes and the mozzarella balls to the hot pasta and mix well. Serve immediately garnished with basil, if desired.
*Note: if you want more protein besides the cheese, you could buy a rotisserie chicken from Walmart, shred the chicken and add it to the dish to create a protein-packed pesto chicken Caprese penne pasta dish.