Skip to content

Pasta with Basil-Walnut Pesto

September 23, 2009

The start of fall brings on cooler weather, warmer clothing, and more indoor activities, which in turn can sabotage your diet. Visions of lying out by the pool are replaced by sitting in front of the fireplace or baking the first pumpkin pie of the season. It isn’t coincidental that we crave comfort food when the weather turns. To keep from sabotaging your diet with traditional high calorie comfort foods, choose healthy option made from whole-grains when craving that extra slice of apple pie.

Comfort foods are notoriously high in calories and saturated fat, but this dish will help you make a better choice for good health, while keeping the traditional flavors intact. The flavors of the cherry tomatoes and pesto combine beautifully with the whole-grain farfalle pasta in a light and simple pasta dish that works for family or casual entertaining. This pesto is so simple-just basil, walnuts, garlic, cheese and olive oil. The pesto coats the pasta nicely and its flavors remain vibrant. The walnuts are a great mix in for their added crunch and texture.

Pasta with Basil-Walnut Pesto

4 servings, 1 1/2 cups each

Basil-Walnut Pesto

Makes About 1 cup

Ingredients

  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves, (2-3 bunches)
  • 1/4 cup walnut pieces, toasted
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions

Place basil, walnuts, Parmigiano-Reggiano, oil, water, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor; pulse a few times, then process until fairly smooth, or to the desired consistency.

Pasta with Basil-Walnut Pesto

  • 8 ounces whole-wheat farfalle pasta
  • ¼ cup prepared pesto
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

Directions

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add farfalle and cook until al dente. Reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking water, drain the pasta and return to the pot. Heat oil and red pepper flakes in a large skillet over medium heat. Add cherry tomatoes and cook until it starts to break down, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add tomatoes to pasta and stir in pesto. Cover to keep warm.

pestopasta11

pestopasta12

Advertisements
One Comment leave one →
  1. September 23, 2009 9:41 pm

    i’m loving this recipe. i’m always wanting to learn new pasta dishes.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: