Pesto and summer just seem to go together. Pesto is fresher and lighter than traditional sauces. And you don't have to heat up your kitchen with a long cooking bolognese. Not to mention so much faster for those summer eves when you spent a little too much time lingering at the beach.
I love to make a big batch of pesto and save some in a jar in the refrigerator for later. It's great on pasta, pizza or bread. I like the traditional flavor of pine nuts. But some people substitute walnuts or even omit the nuts all together.
I'm giving you two recipes today. One for the pesto, and the other is for Pesto Pasta Caprese Salad. If you don't want to make the pesto from scratch, you can still make the pasta recipe by substituting store bought pesto.
¼ c. pine nuts
4 cloves garlic, crushed
pinch kosher salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
3 c. lightly packed basil leaves
½ c. grated parmesan
¾ c. extra virgin olive oil
Place pine nuts, garlic, salt and pepper, basil, and cheese in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to chop the basil. With machine running, add the oil gradually and continue to process until creamy and smooth. Use on pasta, pizza or bread. *Here's the recipe to print.
Pesto Pasta Caprese Salad
1 lb. box Barilla Campanelle
1/3 c. pesto, or more to taste
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
¼ t. salt
¼ t. garlic powder
1/8 t. ground black pepper
1 pack (approx. 10 oz.) grape tomatoes, halved
1 (8 oz.) container fresh mozzarella pearls
small handful of basil leaves, chiffonade
- Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook pasta as directed. Drain.
- Mix pesto, olive oil, salt, garlic, and pepper in a large bowl. Add pasta and toss to coat. Fold in tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil chiffonade. *Here's the recipe to print.