Ron and I love pesto with pasta, but it is surprisingly something that I don't make often. I am really enjoying pasta right now, and decided that it was the perfect time to whip up a pesto dish for dinner. I looked around on a few different sites before I decided on Pioneer Woman's Pasta with Creamy Pesto Sauce. I kept the recipe pretty much the same, but I omitted the garlic and added a little leftover asparagus from Ron's parents garden (so awesome). We also grilled a little pesto chicken sausage from Trader Joe's, sliced it and served it on the side (It wasn't sliced when I photographed). This was a really easy recipe and I loved the smells of the fresh herbs...yummy! If you are without a food processor you can easily make this with store bought pesto. I tossed in the extra ingredients for a little more body and the sausage for some protein. I am so excited for tomorrow because we are having a little mini dinner for my friend Maggie. She is having her third baby boy at the end of June and we are having a little Mexican themed party for her.
3/4 cups Fresh Basil Leaves
1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
3 Tablespoons Pine Nuts
Salt And Pepper, to taste
1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2/3 cup Heavy Cream
2 Tablespoons Butter
1/4 cup Grated Parmesan (additional)
16 ounces, weight Pasta (cavitappi, Fusili, Etc.)
1 Pint Cherry Tomatoes, quartered
Grilled or Saute Asparagus (optional)
Grilled Chicken Sausage (optional)
Cook pasta until al dente.
Add basil leaves, 1/2 cup Parmesan, pine nuts, and salt and pepper to a food processor or blender. Turn machine on, then drizzle in olive oil while it mixes. Continue blending until combined, adding additional olive oil if needed. Set aside.
Heat cream and butter in large pot over medium-low heat. Add pesto and stir.
Drain pasta and pour into pot with pesto sauce. Toss to combine. Add diced tomatoes (and any aditional mix-ins) and toss quickly. Serve immediately.