Parmesan Pesto Pasta with Roasted Balsamic Cherry Tomatoes

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One of the best things about summer, is eating like it’s summer. All of that fresh produce, eating your meals outside on the porch….

 

It’s things like this that make me geek out and get absurdly nostalgic and grateful for this beautiful messy life. You’ve been warned.

Anyhow, in terms of the perfect summer meal, this dish ranks at the top. It is quick and easy and the two main ingredients you can pull straight from your garden or local farmer’s market for dirt-cheap.

This is the type of summer meal that will make you reevaluate your life to appreciate the little things. Ok- the whole life reevaluation thing might be a little bold for a simple pasta dish, but it Will at least make you wish you had a basil plant if you don’t already. (Those little herbs are expensive, and so much better fresh!)

Thus, I hope you make the time to whip up this summer dish while the basil and tomatoes are perfectly in season. Eat it outside. Eat it with friends. Catch a firefly or two. Summer passes quickly, life passes quicker.

Happy cooking!

xoxo A Rented Kitchen

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • ½ cup – 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil + 1 Tablespoon (set aside)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 box penne pasta
  • 8-12 ounces cheery tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 350˚F and brush a baking sheet with olive oil. Set aside.
  2. In a food processor, combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts. Process until well chopped and thoroughly combined.
  3. Add the olive oil (omitting the additional 1 Tablespoon) to the blender and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper as desired.
  4. If using immediately, transfer the pesto into a large bowl and stir in the cheese. (If using later, see the notes below!)
  5. Prepare your pasta in a large pot of boiling water with a dash of salt.
  6. Meanwhile, toss the cherry tomatoes with 1 Tablespoon olive oil, 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar, and a dash of salt and pepper as desired. Once thoroughly coated, arrange the tomatoes on the pre-oiled baking sheet and cook for about 10 minutes, or until soft and plumped, but not yet popped.

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Shout-out to my beautiful cousin Rebekah for this creative and delicious meal!
  • Gluten free? Make sure you use gluten free pasta!
  • Pesto Source: Food Network
  • If you intend to make the pesto and save it for a later date, after you add the oil and pulse until smooth, transfer the pesto into an air-tight container, drizzle with a little olive oil over the top, and freeze. On the day you intend to use the pesto, remove it from the freezer, thaw, and then stir in the cheese! Enjoy!
  • If you like this recipe, try these other scrumptious dishes from ‘A Rented Kitchen’ (Recipe links found below!):

3 thoughts on “Parmesan Pesto Pasta with Roasted Balsamic Cherry Tomatoes

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