Mediterranean Pesto Pasta
Indulge in the delicious flavors of the Mediterranean with this spicy penne pasta dish featuring pesto, olives, sun-dried tomatoes and pepperoncini.
Growing up with a traditional Italian grandmother, I ate a lot of good food. Eggplant parmesan, homemade pizza, lasagna, gnocchi, pasta fagioli – the list goes on. But one of my all-time favorite dishes my grandma made was this Mediterranean Pesto Pasta, or as my family named it, the “spicy penne pasta“. Whenever my grandma made this pasta dish, it was gone in minutes. It is an explosion of flavors that compliments one another so well that it makes your taste buds dance. When my grandma moved to Florida, I begged her for this recipe. Needless to say, she finally gave it to me. Since then, my family will not relent in asking me to make this dish. I’ve been making it for several years now, for both my family and friends, and everyone who tries this dish has a new world opened up to them.
Mediterranean Pesto Pasta is made with fresh and wholesome ingredients associated with the Mediterranean. It’s essentially a Mediterranean x Italian crossover. It is a must try. So why wait? Try it today and see for yourself why this dish is a fan-favorite!
This recipe is completely vegan and can be gluten-free by using gluten-free pasta, making it the perfect dish to make for dinner parties in the event that some of your guests have allergies. Plus, it’s ready in under 30 minutes. How’s that for a homemade pasta sauce and pasta dish ready in no time?
If you are sensitive to spice — don’t worry! The spice level in this dish can be altered to your preference. Do this by reducing the amount of pepperoncinis and/or slicing them instead of using them whole. By slicing them, you drain them of their juices (which are spicy).
Mediterranean Pesto Pasta Ingredients
• Penne Pasta – penne pasta compliments this dish perfectly as opposed to other pasta shaped. If needed, use a gluten-free penne.
• Pesto – make your own pesto or use store-bought pesto (be sure to check the ingredients as many store-bought pesto’s contain cheese. I always use Trader Joe’s vegan kale, cashew and basil pesto). Check out my pesto recipe here. For my fellow gardeners, this is a great way to use up some fresh grown basil! If your basil plant is like mine, it grows like crazy, I’m always looking for ways to use up some of it.
• Olives – this recipe uses both black and green olives.
• Pepperoncini – you can either dice them, put them in whole, or do a mixture of both.
• Sun-Dried Tomatoes – I have successfully used both sun-dried tomatoes in a jar of oil and dried ones in a bag.
• Spices – salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes
How To Make Mediterranean Pesto Pasta
This pasta dish is incredibly easy to make and is ready in under 25 minutes! Add the pesto, garlic, olives, sun-dried tomatoes and pepperoncinis to a sauce pan over low heat, cover, and cook until the pepperoncinis begin to puff up (about 15-20 minutes). Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of pasta water, and add it to the pesto sauce along with the pasta. Add the salt, pepper and red pepper flakes, and mix until well incorporated. Then, serve!
Bring a taste of the Mediterranean to your dinner table with this spicy vegan penne pasta dish. Made with fresh, wholesome ingredients and a kick of spice from the pepperoncini’s, this pasta is sure to become a family favorite in your home just like it has become one in mine!
Whether you’re looking for a quick and easy weeknight meal or something special for a dinner party, this penne pasta is the perfect choice. So why not give it a try and experience the bold flavors of the Mediterranean for yourself?
For More Dinner Recipes
Mediterranean Pesto Pasta
- 16 oz penne pasta
- 1 cup vegan pesto
- 3 cloves garlic whole
- 1 cup pepperoncini
- 1 cup black olives sliced
- 1 cup green olives sliced
- 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes sliced
- salt pepper, red pepper flakes for taste
- Add the pesto, garlic, olives, sun-dried tomatoes and pepperoncini to a large sauce pan over low heat. Cover and cook until the pepperoncinis begin to puff up (about 15-20 minutes), stirring occasionally. Remove the pieces of garlic once the sauce is done cooking.
- Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of pasta water, and add the reserved pasta water to the pesto sauce. Mix to loosen up the sauce.
- Add the pasta to the sauce pan and heat until warm.
- Add the salt, pepper and red pepper flakes, and mix until well incorporated. Serve!
- See tips above in the blog post if you are super sensitive to spice.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so it should only be used as an approximation.