Brownifer Bites: Pesto Pasta Bake (with recipe)

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Pesto Pasta Bake (with recipe)

Brownie is busy with Baseball - so you were expecting vegetarian, right?

Thing #2 made this on our last weekend together.  He did an awesome job and it was delicious.  But I was so focused on watching him and multi-tasking as Thing #5 simultaneously mixed up a batch of chocolate banana muffins from her cookbook, that I didn't get any photos of his creation.  

So tonight I decided to make it again and make sure to get some pictures!

Yes, it's vegetarian but it's SO flavorful!  I printed this recipe some time ago from the internet but have no idea from where.  I've modified it a bit to fit our taste and for convenience.  Try this:

Ingredients for Pesto:

  • 4 cups fresh basil (Basil sells quickly this time of year, I bought a large bunch from Safeway and yes, used the entire thing for this recipe.)
  • 4 Cloves garlic (snip off the tips of each end of the cloves before blending)
  • 1/2 cup Pine Nuts
  • 3/4 cup parmesan, finely grated
  • 3/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (FYI - one small carton of cream is enough to make this recipe twice!)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
Ingredients Cont'd:
  • 16 oz. Pasta (use whatever you have on hand, or whatever you prefer)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (this is great for slightly withered cherry toms that my not be appetizing for snacking any longer - they're going to be cooked anyway!  Thing #5 didn't leave me 1 cup to work with, but it was close)
  • 1 cup parmesan, finely grated
  • 8 oz. ball fresh mozzarella (cut into small 1/2" pieces or sliced, as you wish)

  • Make Pesto - place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend well, set aside
  • Cook pasta to very al dente, or about 3-4 minutes before the package instructs for the cook time
  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees
  • halve your cherry tomatoes
  • In a casserole pan, mix pasta, cherry tomatoes and pesto sauce
  • Top with grated parmesan and mozzarella pieces
  • Bake at 400 F for 10-15 minutes, or until mozzarella has melted.
  • Garnish with additional parmesan and fresh basil, serve immediately.
The flavor of this is phenomenal.  Even our pickiest Thing #5 loves this!  It's simple and easy and will quickly become a family favorite - we promise!

Fresh from the oven:

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