Orecchiette with Pesto

Orecchiette with Pesto

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Adjust Servings:
8 ounces Orecchiette
2 large Sweet Pepper Hulls
0.25 cup Raw Almonds
0.5 teaspoon Spaghetti Aglio Peperoncini Seasoning Mix
Basil Pesto
2 cups Fresh Basil Leaves
0.3 cup, grated Parmesan Cheese
0.25 cup Pumpkin Seeds
1 large clove of Garlic
0.5 cup Organic Extra Virgin Italian Olive Oil
Juice of 1 Lemon
0.5 teaspoon Salt (I use Kosher)
0.25 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper

Orecchiette with Pesto

  • 30 minutes
  • Serves 2
  • Easy


  • Basil Pesto



Easy to make and vegetarian orecchiette with pesto.

This pasta dish is light, filling, vegetarian and a total comfort food.

There are thousand of pasta shapes and sizes and this orecchiette is one to try!

The word orecchiette translates to “little ears” in Italian, which has much to do with their shape.

This pasta shape is a round, concave pasta that originated in Puglia in southern Italy.

It has a thinner middle thicker edges, which gives them a unique texture.

Orecchiette have perfect shape to hold that chunky sauce, ensuring that each bite has the perfect amount of pesto to pasta ratio!

For color and flavor, I love adding chopped sweet red pepper hulls.

Red pepper hulls are sliced red bell peppers that have been cored and deseeded, packed in a sweet brine.

If you like a bit of a spicy kick, I recommend adding the peperoncino mix as it takes this dish to the net level!

Peperoncino is a mixture that contains piquant dried peperoncini, garlic, parsley and salt.

Lastly, for a bit of a crunch, chopped nuts like almonds are great and fresh basil leaves to echo the flavor of the pesto sauce.

This recipe is sponsored by Flora Foods.



Make The Basil Pesto

First, wash your basil leaves. I recommend adding them to a bowl with 4 cups of water and 1/4 cup of distilled white vinegar.

Once the basil leaves have been washed, rip off the leaves and discard all of the stems.

Add all of the basil pesto ingredients to your food processor or blender and blend until smooth, about 1-2 minutes.


Chop The Almonds and Sweet Red Pepper Hulls

Next, chop the almonds and sweet red pepper hulls then set aside.


Cook The Orecchiette

Fill up a large pot with water about 3/4 of the way full and bring it to a rapid boil.

Next, add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of olive oil to the boiling water.

Allow the water to come back up to a boil then slowly add the orecchiette.

Cook the orecchiette pasta for about 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Drain the pasta then add it back to the pot.

Next, add the pesto, chopped sweet red pepper hulls and ½ teaspoon of the spicy peperoncino mix to the cooked pasta and stir to combine.



To serve, garnish your bowl of pasta with some of the chopped almonds and fresh basil leaves.


About Flora Fine Foods

For over 40 years, Flora Fine Foods has been supplying customers and restaurants alike with the highest quality and authentic Italian imported foods. Started by John Flora in 1974, Flora Fine Foods began importing olive oil from Mr. Flora’s native region of Puglia, and tomatoes from the San Marzano region of Campania.

To learn more about Flora Foods and shop their products go to https://florafoods.com/


Hi guys, so glad you are here! My food blog is about easy, colorful and mostly healthy recipes. I grew up in Germany and have been in the states since 2002. Currently, I am living in sunny Miami, FL! Please leave me a comment if you have questions or recipe requests and also follow me on social media via @foodbyjonister. Happy cooking and eating!

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This amazing pesto has a key ingredient that makes it stand out: Pumpkin seeds, almonds and Joni’s signature !!

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