Creamy Rigatoni Pesto Recipe From Royal Caribbean (20 Minutes) by Donna John

Creamy Rigatoni Pesto Recipe From Royal Caribbean (20 Minutes)

I've been looking through my old cookbooks again lately. Cookbooks are a weakness of mine, but I've found that the more you have, the less you use them. As an overthinker, I get overwhelmed and end up making something out of the recipe binder vs. a cookbook. I am trying to change that. The latest cookbook to get a look-see is Royal Caribbean International Cookbook, which was published in 2001. The winner was the rigatoni pesto recipe on page 58.

This pasta recipe is simple, fresh and so easy to make. Here is your flavorful shopping list for this Italian dinner: pine nuts, fresh basil, garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, Parmesan cheese, rigatoni pasta and heavy cream. A fresh basil pesto is prepared, pasta cooked to al dente and cream reduced. All the ingredients combine at the end for a fabulous dinner.

If you are growing basil this summer in your herb garden, this is one recipe you don't want to lose. Serve the creamy pesto pasta with a side of bread and a fresh salad

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Cuisine: Italian 
Prep Time: 8 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 1 cup pine nuts
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, plus more for serving
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1 pound (16 ounces) dry rigatoni
  • 2 cups heavy cream

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Recipe Notes

  • You can serve any leftover pesto sauce on the side to spread on bread.
  • You could use penne, rotini, fusilli or other short pasta for this recipe instead of rigatoni. 

Here's how to make it: 

  1. In a dry skillet over high heat, toast the pine nuts until lightly browned. 
  2. In a food processor, add the basil leaves, garlic and pine nuts. Process until chopped. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil. Add the Parmesan and salt and black pepper, to taste. Pulse a few times to combine. Put into a bowl and set aside. 
  3. Cook the rigatoni according to package directions for al dente, about 6 to 8 minutes. Drain and put into a bowl.
  4. While the pasta cooks, pour the cream into a saucepot and bring to a boil over low heat. Stir until cream is reduced by half. Turn the heat off and stir in the prepared pesto. 
  5. Pour the creamy pesto sauce over the rigatoni. Toss to coat. Serve with additional fresh basil and more grated Parmesan. 

Nutrition Facts Per Serving

Calories: 862

Total Fat: 83.5g

Saturated Fat: 27.2g

Cholesterol: 124mg

Sodium: 226mg

Total Carbohydrate: 21.5g

Dietary Fiber: 2.1g

Total Sugars: 1.7g

Protein: 14.9g

Vitamin D: 41mcg

Calcium: 304mg

Iron: 3mg

Potassium: 301mg

Recipe cooking times, nutritional information and servings are approximate and provided for your convenience. However, 30Seconds is not responsible for the outcome of any recipe, nor may you have the same results because of variations in ingredients, temperatures, altitude, errors, omissions or cooking/baking abilities. This recipe has been analyzed by VeryWellFit. However, any nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and it is up to the individual to ascertain accuracy. To ensure image quality, we may occasionally use stock photography.

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Elisa Schmitz
Mmm, is there anything better than a creamy pesto pasta? Good old-fashioned comfort food in a bowl! #yum

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