Posts Tagged ‘basil’

GYO: Antipasto Pesto Pasta

I love the sound of that 🙂 And the dish was pretty good, too.

We had about 16 people over for Thanksgiving, and since we had spent two weeks in Europe, including a week in Italy, in September, naturally I wanted to serve antipasto for an appetizer.

But most people were holding out for the main event, so there was quite a bit left over. What to do with all these preserved meats and veggies? Put them in a pasta, of course! I found this great-sounding recipe and modified it for what we had and like, and it turned out great. I’ll definitely make it again.

This is my entry in Grow Your Own, the foodie event started by Andrea of Andrea’s Recipes and hosted this month by House of Annie. GYO celebrates the food we grow ourselves. We grew the basil and parsley for the pesto in this dish, and I froze pesto to use during the winter, since the basil was so prolific. The round-up of all the entries has been posted, so check them out!

Antipasto Pesto Pasta
1 medium roasted red bell pepper, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup marinated cocktail onions, halved
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
3 ounces salami, chopped
1/2 cup marinated mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup marinated quartered artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/3 cup refrigerated pesto
8 ounces uncooked bow-tie pasta (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

Place the roasted pepper, onions, olives, salami, mushrooms, and artichokes in a large bowl and mix gently.

Cook the pasta according to package directions, omitting salt; drain. In a small bowl, mix together the pesto and 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese; add to bell pepper mixture, and toss to combine. Add pasta to bell pepper mixture and stir.

Sprinkle each serving with 2 tsp. remaining cheese and 2 tsp. pine nuts.


Antipasto Pasta

Grow Your Own: Pesto Pasta

Grow Your Own 2008I love this time of year 🙂 My basil is just out of control and the roma tomatoes are finally coming in strong, so it’s caprese salad or something with pesto regularly now. I also need to get some pesto frozen for the winter. I like to put a tablespoon or so into marinara sauce and this recipe works even with thawed frozen pesto.

This is a really simple recipe, though. Everyone has their own basil pesto recipe, I’m sure, so I’m going beyond that to one of my favorite side dishes featuring pesto – pesto pasta. If your favorite pesto uses an herb other than basil, or cheese other than Parmesan, you can substitute those for the garnish. I like to use rotini pasta, because the crevices catch the pesto and you get a lot in each bite.

Pesto Pasta

Pesto Pasta

1 lb. rotini pasta or other small pasta shape
1 cup basil pesto
1-2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil if needed
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
3 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
basil leaves

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; cook pasta till al dente, 8-10 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water to cool; remove to a large bowl. Using a large spatula, mix pasta and pesto together, adding 1-2 tbsp. olive oil if needed to loosen up the pesto. Garnish with diced tomatoes, Parmesan cheese and basil leaves.

This is my entry in the food blogging event Grow Your Own, begun by Andrea of Andrea’s Recipes and hosted this month by Jessica of Finny Knits.

Summer Produce

Joelen of Joelen’s Culinary Adventures has an unbelievable array of food blogging events going – don’t know how she keeps up with the round-ups. There are lots of tasty-looking recipes from previous events to read about and maybe try.

Right now, at the height of the summer, the event she has going on is Summer Produce, and we have lots. The basil and roma tomatoes are really coming in now, and the cucumbers are catching up. So I made a sort of caprese salad over greens for dinner one night. I know, using vinegar isn’t traditional, but I just love red-wine vinegar with this, so that’s what I use 🙂

Ingredients for caprese-inspired salad
Fresh basil, cucumber and roma tomato from the garden

Caprese-inspired Green Salad

3 cups chopped romaine
1 small cucumber, chopped
2 roma tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup fresh mozzarella cheese, diced
1/4 cup fresh basil, julienned
3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Layer half of romaine, cucumber, tomatoes, cheese and basil in each of two bowls. Whisk together vinegar, oil, salt and pepper and drizzle over salads.

Caprese salad over romaine

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