Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Fresh Tomato and Pesto Pasta

Simple, easy vegetarian pasta meets big, satisfying, fresh flavor in this almost-no-cook dinner for four. Whether you make pesto with all basil, half basil and half parsley (as here), or with the greenery of your choice, this scrumptious, herb-loaded sauce guarantees you won’t miss the meat.

But the cheese…yes, there’s cheese. First of all, in the pesto, where Parmigiano-Reggiano is king. And to top it off, little chunks of fresh mozzarella add extra gooey cheesiness. Mmmmmm.  

Serves 4

  • 1 cup packed basil leaves
  • 1 cup packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup broken almond pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 8 oz mini farfalle (or other small pasta)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 pint multi-colored grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 3 oz fresh mozzarella, cut into small pieces
Pesto Ingredients 
Multi-Colored Tomatoes
Prepared Onion, Mozzarella, and Tomatoes
  1. Place the basil, parsley, almonds, and garlic in a food processor and season with salt and pepper. Grind until finely chopped.
  2. With the processor on, slowly pour in the extra virgin olive oil. Scrape down the sides of the processor bowl and process until smooth. Transfer the sauce to a bowl and stir in the cheese.
Chopped Ingredients 
Oil Added 
Basil and Parsley Pesto
Meanwhile, cook the farfalle in a pot of boiling, salted water until al dente, 7-8 minutes. Drain.

Heat a large, deep skillet over medium-low heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onion and sauté until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat and add the tomatoes, drained pasta, and pesto and season lightly with salt and pepper. Stir well to combine. Scatter mozzarella on top.

Onions Beginning to Cook
Tomatoes, Pasta, and Pesto Added
Divide among 4 pasta bowls and serve right away.

Fresh Tomato and Pesto Pasta

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