Creamy Pesto Pasta with Veggies & Almond Breadcrumbs
Family Friendly

Creamy Pesto Pasta

with Veggies & Almond Breadcrumbs

25 MIN
+$1.95/serving 4 Servings
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    From the Test Kitchen

    This sophisticated dish highlights exciting contrast of texture thanks to the irresistibly crispy almond breadcrumbs that we’re sprinkling atop mafalda pasta. A trio of sweet peppers, tomatoes, and spinach, plus our herbaceous basil pesto, bring bright, verdant flavor to this easy vegetarian pasta dish.
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    • Nutrition
      PER SERVING
    • Calories
      850 Cals (est.)
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    fresh
    ingredients
    Creamy Pesto Pasta with Veggies & Almond Breadcrumbs
    Title
    • 10 oz Hot Italian Pork Sausage
    • ¾ lb Mafalda Pasta
    • ¼ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
    • ½ lb Grape Tomatoes
    • 2 cloves Garlic
    • ½ lb Sweet Peppers
    • 5 oz Baby Spinach
    • ⅓ cup Basil Pesto
    • ½ cup Cream
    • ¼ cup Panko Breadcrumbs
    • ¼ cup Sliced Roasted Almonds
    • 2 Tbsps Mascarpone Cheese
    • ¼ tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
    time-saving
    tips & techniques
    Prepare the ingredients
    1 Prepare the ingredients

    Fill a large pot 3/4 of the way up with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Cut off and discard the stems of the peppers; remove the cores. Thinly slice into rings. Halve the tomatoes. Peel and roughly chop 2 cloves of garlic.

    Cook the pasta
    2 Cook the pasta

    Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Turn off the heat. Reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly and return to the pot.

    Make the almond breadcrumbs
    3 Make the almond breadcrumbs

    Meanwhile, in a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the almonds and breadcrumbs; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned and toasted. Transfer to a bowl. Wipe out the pan.

    Cook the sausage & vegetables
    4 Cook the sausage & vegetables

    In the same pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the sausage. Cook, without stirring, 4 to 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the sliced peppers; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally and breaking the meat apart with a spoon, 3 to 4 minutes, or until the peppers are softened and the sausage is cooked through. Add the halved tomatoes, chopped garlic, and as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until softened. Turn off the heat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired.

    Finish the pasta & serve your dish
    5 Finish the pasta & serve your dish

    To the pot of cooked pasta, add the spinach, cooked sausage and vegetables, cream, and half the reserved pasta cooking water. Cook on medium-high, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until thoroughly combined. Turn off the heat; stir in the pesto and mascarpone until combined and the pasta is coated (if necessary, gradually add the remaining cooking water to ensure the pasta is thoroughly coated). Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the finished pasta garnished with the parmesan and almond breadcrumbs. Enjoy!

    Tips from Home Chefs

    Prepare the ingredients
    1 Prepare the ingredients

    Fill a large pot 3/4 of the way up with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Cut off and discard the stems of the peppers; remove the cores. Thinly slice into rings. Halve the tomatoes. Peel and roughly chop 2 cloves of garlic.

    2 Cook the pasta

    Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Turn off the heat. Reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly and return to the pot.

    Cook the pasta
    Make the almond breadcrumbs
    3 Make the almond breadcrumbs

    Meanwhile, in a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the almonds and breadcrumbs; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned and toasted. Transfer to a bowl. Wipe out the pan.

    4 Cook the sausage & vegetables

    In the same pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the sausage. Cook, without stirring, 4 to 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the sliced peppers; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally and breaking the meat apart with a spoon, 3 to 4 minutes, or until the peppers are softened and the sausage is cooked through. Add the halved tomatoes, chopped garlic, and as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until softened. Turn off the heat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired.

    Cook the sausage & vegetables
    Finish the pasta & serve your dish
    5 Finish the pasta & serve your dish

    To the pot of cooked pasta, add the spinach, cooked sausage and vegetables, cream, and half the reserved pasta cooking water. Cook on medium-high, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until thoroughly combined. Turn off the heat; stir in the pesto and mascarpone until combined and the pasta is coated (if necessary, gradually add the remaining cooking water to ensure the pasta is thoroughly coated). Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the finished pasta garnished with the parmesan and almond breadcrumbs. Enjoy!

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