Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Pesto Pasta with Mozzarella and Tomatos

While the menu for our Annual End of Summer Party I had a thought for a side....I had recently harvested all of my basil and made copious amounts of basil aioli and pesto.  I have had a pesto pasta salad before at Food & Co. in Green Hills which I love and thought I could recreate that in my own way!  So I pulled out the pesto, got myself my favorite kind of pasta and dumped a few more toppings in as well.  Here is what I came up with...

Ruthie's Pesto Pasta Salad
1 pound bow tie pasta, cooked a little bit more than al dente
2 heaping tablespoons of homemade pesto
1/4 cup pasta water
1 container small mozzarella balls
1 package cherry tomatoes

Cook pasta for 11-13 minutes.  Before draining the pasta, retain at least a half a cup of the pasta water.  Drain pasta well.  Return pasta to the pot in which it was cooked (removing it from the heat) and add the pesto.  Stir to combine.  Add the pasta water until it is creamy (between 1/4 to 1/2 cup).  

This will keep the pasta and pesto from drying out without having to add any more oil.  At this point you can let the pasta sit in the fridge until you are ready to serve.  Just before serving, add the tomatoes and mozzarella.  Toss to coat with pesto.  Serve immediately.

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