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Pesto Cavatappi - fresh pesto bursting with basil, a myriad of vegetables and optional chicken for dinner in 15 minutes.

Pesto Cavatappi Redux

Chef Shelley
I say four servings because that's how many 8 ounces of pasta should serve. In our house though, the husband eats two servings, I eat one and the seven year old eats one. They like leftovers so I generally make 1 and a half times this recipe.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Servings 4



  • In a blender of food processor combine but don't make into a perfectly smooth puree the following. Use about a cup for this recipe and refrigerate or freeze the rest.
  • 4 ounce container basil stems discarded (2 cups)
  • 1/2-2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup parmesan
  • Salt to taste.
  • Optional - 2 tablespoons toasted pinenuts

Pesto Cavatappi

  • 8 oz half a box cavatappi or penne or any kind of pasta
  • ¼ cup roasted red peppers
  • ½ cup halved grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup pesto
  • 1/2-1 cup crumbled feta or other cheese


  • 1 or two cooked chicken breasts diced (use your Oven Poached Chicken) or a grocery rotisserie chicken
  • Any cooked veggies you want to throw in extra cheese for topping


  • Prepare pasta according to package directions.
  • While pasta cooks, blend the pesto ingredients.
  • Put the diced chicken into the colander and drain the pasta over it to warm the chicken.
  • Put the pasta and chicken back into the pot. Stir in the remaining ingredients.
  • That's it!