With our fan-favorite Marry Me sauce, this Marry Me Pesto Pasta is a quick and easy cozy dinner recipe. The sauce is creamy, flavorful, and comes together in 15 minutes – you really just have to wait for the pasta to cook. So join the Marry Me movement my chickpeas started on social media and enjoy this pesto pasta version!
Marry Me sauce is a Tuscan-inspired sauce that combines sun-dried tomatoes with cream and basil. This classic combination packs so much flavor that it’s been known to inspire proposals!
Marry me dishes, like my social media famous Marry Me Chickpeas and Marry Me Butter Beans, share many similar ingredients to pesto – basil and parmesan being the most prominent. So, I thought…why not combine the two?
The trick to combining these two is heavy cream. I use heavy cream to make pesto pasta sauce all the time (like in my Cavatappi Pasta with Creamy Pesto) so it’s a natural transition to use the heavy cream-based Marry Me sauce. I’m so excited to share this fun mash-up of classic Italian sauces with you!
Why you’ll love it
- It’s super quick to make this sauce, like 10 minutes fast!
- It’s a versatile sauce that can be paired with any type of pasta you like! I enjoy it with a wide noodle like pappardelle.
- Minimal ingredients are paired together carefully for maximum flavor!
Ingredients for Marry Me Pesto pasta
To make this delicious pasta, you only need a handful of ingredients and some tasty spices.
- Pasta: I like to use a wide noodle (like pappardelle) but you can use any kind you like, including gluten-free. You can even use a gnocchi!
- Butter: Unsalted butter is used to ‘sweat’ the spices which helps to bloom their flavor. Grab some unsalted butter or margarine for a vegan version.
- Garlic: Garlic is why this Marry Me sauce makes people want to marry the chef!
- Seasonings: Salt, oregano, crushed red pepper flakes, and black pepper are all you need for the most wonderful melody of flavors.
- Sun-Dried Tomatoes: Sun-dried tomatoes are a staple of Tuscan cooking. The specific method of drying the tomatoes enhances their natural sweetness for the most unique and wonderful flavor.
- Pesto: I always try my very best to use freshly made pesto. It’s so simple and fast to make and even easier since pesto and Marry Me sauce share some ingredients!
- The Cream: You will need heavy cream and parmesan to bring the dish together. You can also use a vegan heavy cream and vegan parmesan.
What is “Al Dente” Anyways?
Pasta should always be cooked to al dente which means it’s cooked until tender but it still has a bite. This is extra important for this dish because the pasta will cook a little more once mixed with the creamy pesto sauce.
How to make Pesto Pasta with Marry Me Sauce
This dish seriously couldn’t be easier to make. To start, you’ll need to cook the pasta. While that’s going, make the sauce. Then comes marriage.
- Cook the pasta and reserve some pasta water
- Make the flavor base with butter and spices
- Make the sauce with the remaining ingredients and pasta water
- Finish it with grated parmesan
Why pasta water?
Adding a splash of the pasta water to your sauce infuses it with some of those pasta starches, which helps the sauce to stick to the noodles!
This pasta will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 5 days. To reheat it, heat on low on the stove with a little vegetable broth to rehydrate the sauce.
Why this Recipe Works
This dish seems simple but trust me when I say it has exactly what it needs. Here’s why it works with such simple ingredients and steps.
- It’s vegetarian so there’s no waiting for a protein to cook.
- It’s versatile in that you can any type of pasta or gnocchi or add more to it like white beans.
- The right sauce to pasta ratio means the pasta isn’t drowning in sauce and the pasta isn’t dry either.
Can I make this with gluten-free pasta?
Yes, you can use any type of gluten-free pasta since it’s cooked separately.
Can this be made vegan?
You can use vegan heavy cream and parmesan for the sauce but storebought pesto is not typically vegan. If you make your own pesto, then you can also make it vegan by using a vegan parmesan cheese.
What do I do if I forget to save pasta water?
If you forgot the pasta water and dumped it all out, you can substitute it with a little vegetable broth or salted water!
what to serve with Marry Me pasta
To make this a full Italian meal, you’ll need a few more dishes. Here’s what you can pair the pasta with!
- Vegan Garlic Bread is a must-serve alongside pasta. It’s incredibly easy to make and SO tasty!
- Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup is a nice compliment to the pasta.
- Bruschetta Pizza is another classic pairing – pizza and pasta, what more could you want?
- A fresh salad like this 15-Minute Mediterranean Parsley Salad is easy to whip up and tastes delicious alongside the cozy bowl of pesto pasta.
- 8 oz any type of pasta can use gluten-free, I used pappardelle, reserve ¼ cup pasta water, 226 g
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter 28 g
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- ½ tsp each salt, oregano, crushed red pepper flakes
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes roughly chopped, 100 g
- ½ cup pesto 100 g
- ½ cup heavy cream 120 mL
- ½ cup grated parmesan 40 g
- Pasta: Cook 8 oz any type of pasta according to package instructions. Reserve ¼ cup of the pasta water before draining the pasta.
- Flavor Base: Heat 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, 4 cloves garlic, ½ tsp each salt, oregano, crushed red pepper flakes, and ¼ tsp ground black pepper in a large saute pan or pot over medium heat. Cook for about 2 minutes, until garlic is fragrant.
- Make It Sauce: Reduce heat to medium/low. Stir in reserved pasta water, ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, ½ cup pesto, and ½ cup heavy cream. Let cook for a few minutes, just to heat the sauce.
- Finish: Remove from heat and stir in ½ cup grated parmesan and cooked pasta. Serve warm.