It’s been awhile since I’ve made any pasta. During the summer month’s I get caught up in grilling outdoors and picking up farmers market fruits and veggies that I can’t get any other time of year. Lately I’ve been feeling a need for some comfort food and pasta is especially good to bring back the comforts of home. I love anything pesto and this turned out especially good using fresh cherry tomatoes, inspired from Lidia Bastianich of “Lidia’s Italy”. The flavors that come through are so fresh but at the same time robust. I added some crisp bacon bits to compliment the fresh tomato. It couldn’t have been better!
I usually put pesto together by testing and tasting so feel free to add more or less of any ingredient except the cherry tomatoes, they are most important. I used a pint of cherry tomatoes, basil leaves, pine nuts, a blend of Pecorino Romano, Parmesan and Asiago cheese, fresh garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper.
I like this consistency but you can make it even smoother if you continue to process. I was happy with how this consistency stuck to the pasta. Set this in the fridge to let the flavors blend while you prepare the bacon and pasta.
1 Pint Cherry Tomatoes
1 bunch Fresh Basil, about 1 1/2 cups
1 – 2 cloves Garlic, grated on a microplane grater
1/3 – 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese (I used a blend of Pecorino Romano, Parmesan and Asiago)
1/3 cup Pine Nuts
1/3 – 1/2 cup Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1 pound Pasta, (I used Farfalle or Bowtie Pasta)
6 slices Bacon, sliced into smaller pieces
Parmesan Cheese, to sprinkle over pasta
Pine Nuts, to sprinkle over pasta
Rinse and pat dry cherry tomatoes. Place tomatoes in a food processor along with the garlic, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, basil leaves, salt and pepper. Drizzle 1/3 cup of olive oil and process. Add more if needed and process until you have the desired consistency. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Add additional olive oil and continue to blend for a smoother consistency. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and refrigerate to enable the flavors to blend.
Cook the bacon pieces in a skillet over medium high heat. Stir the bacon bits until they become brown and crisp. Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel. Cook the pasta according to package directions.
Drain pasta and toss with the pesto to coat. Sprinkle with bacon bits, Parmesan cheese and pine nuts.
Serves 6 – 8