First things first. This is a total cheat recipe, with almost everything coming off of a store shelf or refrigerator case.
Doesn’t really matter though, because it was still wicked tasty.
And then, there is this jarred pesto from ALDI. Not refrigerated, just sitting on a shelf, waiting to be tried, and, for the price? I figured “why not?”
Why not indeed.
This inexpensive little jar of pesto is so much better than some of the “fresh packed” stuff in other markets’ coolers!
Of course, I did dress it up, just a wee, tiny bit.
•1 jar pesto sauce
•Grape tomatoes, halved
•5 oz cubed pancetta
•1 tbsp Sherry Peppers Sauce*
•Sliced cherry peppers
•Cooked pasta – I used tortellini
*No Sherry Peppers Sauce? No Problem! Simply add a bit of decent sherry (none of that “cooking” stuff) and a dash or three of your fave hot sauce, to taste.
Warm a large pan over medium heat, then add the pancetta and tomatoes and cook, stirring often, until the pancetta has crisped up and the tomatoes have started to break down.
Stir in the sherry peppers sauce, lower the heat and cook for about five minutes more.
Give it a taste.
But, we like a bit of zip to our sauce, so I added some pickled deli-sliced hot cherry peppers – look for these with the pickles, or at a well-stocked Italian deli.
Much more better!
Now, stir in the pesto and heat through.
Cook the pasta according to package instructions, drain, and toss with the sauce.
I have to confess to transferring the pesto to a bowl and cooking the tortellini in the same pan, draining it, then returning the pesto to the pan with the pasta and serving from there, tossed with shredded cheese.
And very little clean up at the end.
We had three goodly sized servings (well, four, my husband went back for seconds), and enough leftover for one person (our niece) to enjoy for lunch the next day.
I call that a deal.