Penne in Creamy Basil-Walnut Sauce
  • 2 slices white bread (1/2-ounce)
  • 1/2 cup fat-free milk
  • 2 cups loosely packed basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1 tablespoon extravirgin olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 pound uncooked penne rigate pasta
  • Chopped parsley (optional)
  1. Trim crusts from bread. Place bread in a shallow dish; pour milk over bread. Let stand 5 minutes.
  2. Place bread mixture in a food processor; add basil and next 6 ingredients (basil through garlic). Set aside without processing.
  3. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.
  4. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 3 tablespoons cooking liquid.
  5. Place pasta in a large bowl. Add reserved cooking liquid to basil mixture in food processor, and process until smooth.
  6. Add the pesto to pasta; toss well to coat. Sprinkle with parsley, if desired. Serve immediately.