April 12, 2012

Pesto Cavatappi

Have you ever been to Noodles and Company? We had one in our college town and I completely fell in love with their Pesto Cavatappi dish. I knew I just had to do a remake at home, and came up with this. (Plus making it myself means I can add as many mushrooms as my little heart desires.) It comes pretty darn close to the restaurant version, and we make it often.

Looking for an appetizer to munch on? Quick and easy bruschetta always pairs great.

Gluten-free (with gluten-free pasta)

7 oz. pesto, or about 1 cup (try homemade!)
10-16 oz. sliced mushrooms
2 large tomatoes, diced
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
14 oz. spiral pasta (cavatappi, fusilli, rotini, etc.)
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (still trying to find a healthier substitute -- ideas anyone??)
Shredded parmesan-style cheese (vegetarian) for topping, optional

Cook pasta according to package directions until slightly undercooked. Drain in colander.
Meanwhile, saute mushrooms in a large skillet with salt until slightly softened.
To the skillet, add cooked pasta, garlic, and about one of the diced tomatoes. Stir and saute over medium heat for 1 minute.
Add wine, stir thoroughly, and cook a few minutes to let the wine reduce.
Add whipping cream, stir, and wait for it to reduce/thicken.
Add remaining tomatoes and heat for a couple minutes.
Turn heat to low, add pesto and stir well to combine. Salt/pepper to taste.
Serve hot with shredded parmesan cheese on top (optional).

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  1. looks delish, your blog always makes me hungry! I need to hurry up and blog soon!

    1. Haha, thanks. Get some up! Can't wait to see what you've got cookin' next :)

  2. You could substitute fat free half & half for the heavy cream. Looks delish!

  3. I don't know if it might be too sweet, but Silk makes a vegan coffee creamer: http://silk.com/products/original-creamer

    I L-O-V-E steaming this for a latte (most subs for cream, like almond milk, don't foam up much when you steam them, but this does.) So who knows, it might be a good plant-based alternative for the heavy cream.

    1. Wonderful Leah! I had no idea about Silk's vegan creamer - it's certainly worth a shot! Thank you so much!! :)

  4. I love your blog. You cook just like I like to (only better.) I've been picking three recipes a week and making them and it lasts all dinners and for lunches!

    Anyways, I've made this a few times and tried some variations for the heavy cream. I had the most success using whole milk yogurt diluted to the right consistency with whole milk (it's what I had in the fridge), but I suppose that's really not that much better.

    Instead of trying to remove the cream, I sort of tried to balance it out by using spinach pesto. I figure that the extra nutrition in the spinach evens out the heavy cream! It was really, really good.

    1. Hi Tansy! I loved your message, thanks! So awesome you're trying lots of recipes here - hope you love them all! We definitely like leftovers at our house, so lots of the meals here are good for that. Glad you liked this recipe! Spinach pesto?? YUM :)

  5. Substitute plain fat free yogurt for the heavy cream.... We use this trick all the time at my house. :)

    1. Hi Kelly! YES!! Thank you so much - definitely trying that next time :D

  6. Coconut yogurt or just coconut cream should work for the cream replacement. Although you will need to adjust the seasoning to account for the sweet coconut flavor.

    1. Nice! Great idea. I haven't made this in so long - time to do a vegan remake! :)