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  • Writer's pictureBobbi Jo Lathan

Penne Rigate Pasta With Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Arugula And Pesto Sauce

Updated: Dec 29, 2023

When I was younger, I dated me a good-lookin’  Eye-tal-yun* boy for a few months. His name was Fabrizio and he’d cook for me every Saturday night. Comin’ from the South, this was a real treat, as I’d never had a man cook for me before. Once any of the other menfolk I’d dated found out I could cook, they never let me out of the kitchen! Needless to say, havin’ a good-lookin’ Eye-tal-yun boy cookin’ me his Mama’s Penne Rigate Pasta with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Arugula and Pesto Sauce was a delightful experience for this here country girl!

So, my handsome Fabrizio, I have no idea where you are today, but this here recipe is just for you and all the fond memories you brought to me. All I can say is, that both you and the pasta were very delizioso!!!

Penne Rigate Pasta With Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Arugula And Pesto Sauce

Recipe by: Bobbi Jo Lathan

Recipe type: Entree

Cuisine: Italian


10 mins


10 mins


20 mins



1 pound penne rigate pasta (one box or bag/you can also use regular penne pasta)

½ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup fresh arugula leaves

1 cup sun-dried tomatoes (sliced)

Pesto Sauce:

2 cups fresh basil leaves (packed)

3 cloves fresh garlic

¼ cup pine nuts

¼ cup walnuts

¼ cup pecorino cheese (freshly grated)

½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Juice from 1 freshly squeezed lemon

⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil


  1. Git yourself a big ol’ pot and fill it ¾ of the way up with water and stir in the salt and olive oil and bring to a boil.

  2. Add the penne pasta and cook according to directions on box, approximately 14 minutes.

  3. Keep stirring the pasta every few minutes while it cooks to make sure the pastas don’t stick together.

  4. While that pasta is cookin’, git out your food processor so we can make the pesto sauce. I have a little one that I use. Add the basil leaves, the garlic, the walnut and pine nuts, and salt and pepper and lemon and pulse for around 12 seconds.

  5. Add the extra virgin olive oil, a little at a time, until you’ve got yourself a nice puree.

  6. Lastly, add the cheeses and puree for another minute until blended.

  7. When the pasta is done, drain the water from the cooked pasta with a strainer, and place the penne pasta back into the pot you cooked it in, and toss it with 2 tablespoons of butter.

  8. Once the butter is melted into the pasta, add the arugula and the sun-dried tomatoes and lightly toss.

  9. Lastly, add the beautiful fresh, green pesto sauce and toss ‘til well coated.

  10. Put some of your dee-lish-us Penne Rigate with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Arugula and Pesto Sauce on a plate, top with some extra shaved Parmesan cheese and serve immediately! Dadgum, this stuff is good! YUM!


Your pesto sauce will keep in the fridge for about 2 days. When I place it in an airtight container, I drizzle a little extra olive oil on the top before I close the lid to act as a barrier to any air, so it’ll stay nice and bright green.


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