Prep 2 mins
Cook 10 mins
Pesto or Alfredo? The summery perfection of basil in olive oil or creamy, cheesy, richness? How about both? This simple recipe came about when I didn't have enough of either sauce to coat a big pan of pasta for a potluck dinner. Its a great change from the usual pasta in marinara and, while simple enough for a family meal, is special enough for guests. Its particularly good for potlucks because you KNOW that there are going to be 3-4 pans of pasta in assorted tomato sauces already. ;)
- 1 cup milk (or 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup cream)
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 dash garlic powder (optional)
- 1 cup basil pesto (see notes)
- 1⁄2-3⁄4 cup parmesan cheese (see notes)
- Heat cream cheese, milk (or milk and cream), and garlic together in a small saucepan. Bring just barely to boiling.
- Reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until cream cheese is fully melted into the milk.
- Stir in the pesto and reheat to just barely boiling again.
- Stir in Parmesan and simmer a few moments until the sauce begins to thicken.
- Remove from heat and serve over any pasta.
- Note on Pesto: Best made with a pure basil pesto rather than a basil-and-spinach pesto. Homemade or commercial is fine.
- Note on Parmesan: I freeze my homemade pesto without the cheese so I use the full 3/4 cup. If your pesto has a generous amount of cheese you will not need as much. Not that plenty of Parmesan is a bad thing. :D.
- If you toss this together with pasta, chunks of cooked chicken, and broccoli florets then spread it in a baking pan with plenty of shredded Mozzarella on top you get a terrific casserole.
So flavorful! I had made Pumpkin Seed, Basil and Miso Pesto, which made about a cup and wanted to try it (first time making pesto). This sounded good, so we're having it over frozen (cooked) ravioli. I tasted the sauce and it's outstanding! I only had 4 oz neufschatel cheese, so I added sour cream for the balance and it's still nice and thick. A keeper for sure.