This quick and delicious pasta dish is the perfect way to use up a summer bounty of basil and tomatoes!
Don’t have a green thumb? Never fear! You can knock out this classic pasta dish in no time with a jar of prepared pesto sauce.
- 8 oz. spaghetti or linguine pasta
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves, plus 4-8 reserved leaves for garnish
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp. pine nuts or blanched almonds
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus 2 tbsp. for garnish.
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 1 tsp olive oil
Variation: Got no time, or no fresh basil? Use a 6 ounce jar of prepared pesto instead.
- Bring 4 quarts of water to a rolling boil in a large pot. Salt the water generously and add the pasta.
- While the pasta cooks, make the pesto.
- Remove stems from basil leaves.
- Put the basil, garlic, and pine nuts or almonds into the bowl of a food processor and pulse it a few times to chop them up.
- Then, turn the food processor on and slowly pour the olive oil through the feeder tube to blend with the chopped herbs and nuts.
- Process until all ingredients are fully blended, stopping the food processor to scrape down the sides occasionally to get it all mixed.
- Turn off the food processor, and add the salt and Parmesean, then pulse a few times to blend.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add the 1/2 tsp. olive oil to the heated skillet.
- Add the cherry tomatoes to the skillet and let them blister, stirring occasionally and gently so they don’t burst.
- Remove tomatoes from the pan and set aside.
- Drain the pasta, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking water.
- Return the pasta to the pot
- Add the reserved cooking water and pesto to the pasta and stir to mix
- Plate the pasta and add 6-8 tomatoes to each plate
- Garnish with reserved basil leaves and Parmesean and serve. Buon Appetito!