Entries Tagged as 'pesto'

Pesto Pasta Salad

September 3rd, 2010 · No Comments

Since we’ve had so much basil this year, I decided to look up a recipe for pesto pasta salad when I was having a lot of family visiting. I could use up a bunch of basil and pasta salad is always good to feed a crowd. Not to mention, it can be made ahead of time. Because she’s never steered me wrong, I decided to make this salad from Simply Recipes and it was a big hit.

By the way, this red bowl is the bowl I painted at Glazed Expressions with Jessical Love it!

Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe
From Simply Recipes

4 cups uncooked spiral pasta (I used a whole wheat pasta)
1 cup fresh basil pesto
2 Tbsp chopped green olives, or olive tapenade
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 cup frozen peas, defrosted (or fresh if you can get them)
12 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
Several fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper

Cook pasta according to instructions on the package. Make sure the water is salted (at least a half teaspoon per quart). Remove pasta from heat and strain when pasta is cooked, but still firm (al dente).

Put pasta in a big bowl. Mix in fresh basil pesto, green olives, and pine nuts. Gently mix in cherry tomatoes, peas, fresh basil leaves and olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Chill or serve at room temperature.

Serves 6-8.

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Fresh Basil Pesto

September 3rd, 2010 · No Comments

This summer we had an abundance of basil. I think it was a combination of a lot of rain and a lot of hot temperatures. Our basil just went nuts this year, rivaling the year of the waist-high basil. Since making pesto uses a lot of basil, we’ve made it a few times so far this summer. Once we tossed it with pasta and another time I slathered it on salmon and then baked it. I have even frozen some pesto in ice cube trays so we can have pesto this winter.

I like to use the basil pesto recipe from Simply Recipes. I’ve used walnuts in the pesto, since it’s been hard for me to find pine nuts lately, and when I do they’re expensive. I’ve been making the pesto in a blender, which is kind of difficult. I think I finally have a method down, but I’ll definitely be adding a food processor to our wedding registry.

Fresh Basil Pesto
From Simply Recipes

2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine the basil in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor. (If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse them a few times first, before adding the basil.) Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.

Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Makes 1 cup.

Serve with pasta, or over baked potatoes, or spread over toasted baguette slices.

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BBQ Food

September 11th, 2006 · 5 Comments

Here are some things I made for our BBQ on Saturday.


Tomato Basil Torta
When I lived in San Diego, a friend of mine would take a chunk of goat cheese and dump some basil or red pepper pesto on it for an instant party dip. I was Googling these ingredients online and found this recipe. It was really easy to make and produced A TON of dip. Great for a big party.

3 8-ounce packages cream cheese
4 ounces prepared pesto sauce
4 ounces goat cheese
1/2 cup Sun-Dried Tomato Spread

Set out three mixing bowls. In the first bowl combine 8 ounces cream cheese with pesto sauce. In second bowl, combine 8 ounces cream cheese with the goat cheese. In third bowl, combine 8 ounces cream cheese with 1/2 cup Sun-Dried Tomato Spread. Line a medium bowl with plastic wrap, allowing extra to hang over sides of bowl. Spread cream cheese pesto mixture in an even layer over the plastic wrap. Spread goat cheese mixture over pesto layer. Top with sun-dried tomato mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve. To serve, remove plastic wrap from bottom of Torta. Place serving plate over bowl and turn upside down. Remove bowl and carefully remove plastic wrap from torta. Serve with croutons or bagel chips. Makes 25 servings.


Brie with Preserves and Nuts
When I was at preview night for Sunflower Market, one of the samples was a huge chunk of brie with fig preserves and some kind of chopped almonds on the top. It was so good that I went back and had it 3 times! I tried to buy everything to make it exactly while I was there, but it wasn’t all available in the store yet, so I had to do the best I could at Jewel. I used preserves made of 4 different fruits and slivered almonds. YUM!



Pasta Salad with Tomatoes and Corn
I got this recipe from Jeannette several years ago when I lived in New York. She got it from Epicurious. It’s one of my “go-to” pasta salads, the other being this crab and pasta salad. Obvs, I didn’t use penne this time, but I usually do.

5 tablespoons olive oil
5 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (cut from 3 ears) or frozen, thawed
1 1/4 pounds plum tomatoes, chopped
8 ounces penne pasta, freshly cooked
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Whisk 4 tablespoons oil, vinegar, basil and garlic in large bowl to blend. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add corn; saute
 3 minutes. Add corn to dressing in bowl. Add tomatoes, pasta and cheese to bowl and toss to blend. Season salad with salt and pepper. 4 to 6 servings.

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