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Blistered Cherry Tomatoes and a Basil Pesto to Pair with an Italian Red

I planned for a classic pesto post to share today as basil has taken over in my urban garden. After realizing I had cherry tomatoes and a handful of dry bucatini from my past bucatini with prosciutto, asparagus and lemon recipe, things started to look a little different. To top that off, there was an open bottle of Barbera in the fridge...which is just how some meals happen. So I'll take you through the steps of perfecting a simple and classic pesto and a wonderful pasta dish it can be paired with.

Classic Pesto Ingredients:

  • 4 cups fresh basil 
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • 1t coarse sea salt
  • 1t fresh black pepper
  • 1t fresh squeezed lemon

Simply combine all ingredients except the oil in a food processor or blender. Pulse while drizzling in the olive oil until it makes for a creamy pesto texture. Simple!

For the pasta, simply add 2 teaspoons of olive oil to a pan and slice 10-12 cherry tomatoes in half, cooking them over medium heat until the skins are blistered. Remove from stove and set aside. Boil water and cook pasta until al dente, about 10 minutes.

Heat the tomatoes in the pan and toss in the pasta with 2 heaping tablespoons of the fresh pesto.

You'll have a quick and easy pasta just bursting with mid-summer flavors and freshness!

Serve with an light Italian red of your choosing, such as Barbera. Remaining pesto can be reserved for 2-3 days in the refrigerator and can be incorporated into your other recipes as a simple garnish or star of the dish.