Thursday, June 10, 2010

Farfalle with Pesto and Roasted Tomatoes

Pesto is a simple way to add bright color and huge flavor to everything from pasta to mashed potatoes to risotto. Full of earthy basil and toasted pine nuts, it’s fresh and satisfying – and perfect for summer! All that parmesan cheese and olive oil makes pesto pretty rich, which is why some people like to add a squeeze of lemon. But my sources tell me that lemon in pesto is not traditional, so I’ve added some oven-roasted tomatoes on top – they cut the pesto’s richness and brighten all those fresh flavors.

Plus red and green look so pretty together!

Makes 4 servings

You can use pesto with just about any kind pasta, but I prefer one with a good shape like farfalle, with lots of little nooks that are perfect for catching the sauce (campanelle and fusilli would also work well here).

Farfalle with Pesto and Roasted Tomatoes

¾ cup pine nuts
6 cups fresh basil, well rinsed and loosely packed
¾ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 garlic clove
¾ cup olive oil
1 pint grape tomatoes
12 oz farfalle
  1. In a large skillet, toast pine nuts in 2-3 batches over medium heat, to prevent overcrowding and even toasting. Stir constantly for about 5 minutes, or until fragrant. Set aside and let pine nuts cool completely.
  2. In a food processor, combine basil, Parmesan cheese, garlic clove, and pine nuts; slowly add olive oil and process until smooth. Alternatively, you can combine basil, Parmesan cheese, garlic clove, and half of the pine nuts. Slowly add olive oil and combine until smooth; add remaining pine nuts and pulse until nuts are coarsely broken.
  3. Pre-heat oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with tin foil, and add 2/3 pint halved grape tomatoes and 1/3 pint whole grape tomatoes (tip: make a small incision in each whole tomato so that the juices don’t explode out while cooking – or in your mouth!). Add a light drizzle of olive oil and some freshly cracked pepper; roast in the oven with a watchful eye for about 30 minutes.
  4. While the tomatoes are roasting, cook farfalle according to package directions. Top farfalle with a generous dollop of pesto sauce and roasted tomatoes, and serve with a light, green salad and crusty roll.


  1. You're right - who doesn't like pesto? I adore pesto and this is an inviting and beautifully presented dish with the farfalle pasta. =)