Spaghetti With Pesto & Tomato Salad


I could eat pasta every day and never tire of it and love that so many pasta dishes can be put together so quickly such as this one. This pesto sauce and tomato salad can be prepared while the pasta is cooking, and then the pesto sauce is simply tossed with the hot pasta before serving with a scoop of the tomato salad on top. This easy pasta dish is one I make often as we have huge pots of basil growing on our patio here in Umbria that I need to keep clipped often or it grows wild. You can also change your pasta to make it your own by adding other ingredients such as diced mozzarella, toasted pine nuts, pitted black olives, or instead of the diced plum tomatoes I used, choose a combination of red and yellow halved cherry tomatoes. I prefer to keep the pesto sauce fairly light, but feel free to add more to adjust it to your personal preference. The flavors are lovely in this dish so I always make extra so I can enjoy the pasta the following day for lunch cold as pasta salad.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2011

Spaghetti With Pesto And Tomato Salad

Pesto and fresh, ripe tomatoes pair up perfectly in this light summer pasta dish.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Pound Spaghetti
  • 2 Cups Fresh Basil Leaves, Washed & Dried
  • 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive OIl
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, Peeled
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 Cups Diced Ripe Plum Tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar

Directions:

  1. Cook the pasta in a large pot of lightly salted water until it is al dente.
  2. While the pasta cooks, place the basil, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor and process until smooth.
  3. Add the parmesan cheese and pulse to mix.
  4. Toss the diced tomatoes with the vinegar and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Drain the pasta, reserving a little of the pasta water in a cup, and then add enough pesto to lightly coat the pasta.
  6. Use a little of the pasta water to loosen the sauce if it seems too thick.
  7. Spoon the pasta into individual bowls, and top with the diced tomato salad.