Casarecce pasta with basil pesto is a delicious pasta with ham coated in pesto for an easy and flavorful dish that everyone will love!
Casarecce pasta is the perfect pasta to use with pesto because of its shape the sauce coats every bit of the pasta and makes it the most delicious pasta ever. Or at least one of the most delicious pastas ever.
Our friend Zack came to our home along with four missionaries to teach us all how to prepare and make casarecce pasta with basil pesto. I know I have mentioned before that the Italians take their pasta seriously and know that one type of pasta prefers a specific sauce or a specific method of cooking. Zac came with casarecce pasta because he knew it was the best with basil pesto.
He insisted that fresh pesto senza glutine/without gluten was the best for pesto too. I haven’t been able to see if it is available in the states but if you need a recipe for the fresh pesto because you can’t find it in your store we can help you here with that one.
The other challenge might be finding panna di cucina, try an Italian market but if not use heavy cream. Heavy cream is not exactly the same as panna but it is the closest you are going to find besides the real deal.
We used pancetta affumicata which translated to be bacon but don’t hesitate to use ham because it is perfectly delicious and seems more like what we used.
Each missionary pitched in by either chopping onions or stirring sauce or pouring in cream or draining pasta because you know you learn best by doing. My job was watching, asking questions, taking pictures, and writing the recipe down just to share with you.
I can’t wait until you make your own casarecce pasta with basil pesto and you will love it with that extra kick of chili powder. So let’s get cooking shall we.
Casarecce Pasta with Basil Pesto
- 1 medium yellow onion – diced
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 lb ham or bacon – cubed
- 3 cups fresh basil pesto without gluten - divided
- 1 cup panna di cucina or heavy cream
- 2 lbs casarecce pasta
- 2 TBS salt
- 1 to 2 tsp chili powder – to taste
- ¼ cup finely chopped walnuts
- In a large saucepan, saute the onions in the olive oil until translucent over medium heat
- Add the cubed ham or bacon and cook thoroughly with the onions
- Stir in 2 cups of the basil pesto
- Then slowly add 2/3 cup of the panna or heavy cream. Stir.
- Turn the heat to low to keep the sauce warm
- In a large pot boil water enough that will cover the casarecce pasta
- Add the pasta to the water along with 2 TBS salt, cook according to the package directions
- Drain the pasta from the water and add back into the pot
- Stir in the pesto sauce covering all the pasta
- Add in up to 1 more cup of pesto along with up to 1/3 more cup of panna, coating the pasta
- Sprinkle in 1 to 2 tsp chili powder according to taste
- Stir in ¼ cup walnuts
- Serve with fresh grated Parmesan if desired
Look at those happy faces!