Cooking in the summer is hard; there are happy hours (seemingly every day), summer leagues and wanting to actually cook the food you buy, while saving money. I get it, which is why this summer pesto pasta is so easy and fast to throw together. To make this meal more rounded, you can swap the spaghetti for whole wheat pasta and add a protein (grilled chicken, fish or steak). The brightness of the pesto and the tangy and sweet cherry tomatoes add a variety of flavours that will make this pesto your go-to favourite!
- If you have vegetarian friends omit the parmesan for a cheddar cheese and for vegans, swap out the cheese for a vegan friendly cheese (like nutritional yeast!) or omit it entirely.
- The broiler is my best friend and worst enemy. Many of my ingredients have been burnt because of my forgetfulness, which may or may not be due to a glass of wine…. Therefore, set a timer! I still do it, so you should too. There is nothing worse than having to throw out burnt food.
- Plating Tip: With tongs, grab a portion of spaghetti. As you’re placing the noodles on the plate twist your wrist so the spaghetti turns and holds together without falling apart.
- 2 cups of fresh basil (set aside a few nice leaves for garish)
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 tbl lemon juice
- ⅓ cup of olive oil
- ½ cup of slivered almonds (reserve ¼ for garnish)
- ½ cup of grated parmesan cheese (plus extra for garnish)
- 1 pint of cherry tomatoes (10 oz or 250g)
- 1 package of your favourite spaghetti
- Preheat oven to broil.
- Prep your Mise! Wash and pat basil and tomatoes dry, grate parmesan cheese, toast almonds and set a large pot of heavily salted water to boil (salty like the sea).
- Pesto time! Finely chop basil, mince garlic and coarsely chop toasted almonds; place in a medium size bowl. Add parmesan, olive oil and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Mix pesto well and set aside.
- Cook your pasta as per the package instructions. Save 1 cup of pasta water before draining the spaghetti. Place spaghetti back in pot with the reserved cup of pasta water.
- While noodles are cooking, place the tomatoes on a parchment or foil lined baking sheet. Cook tomatoes until you begin to see charred spots, 5 minutes, depending on how strong your broiler is, keep an eye on them!
- Add ½ the pesto sauce to your pasta pot and mix well. You may want to add more pesto sauce, however do so with caution, this sauce is potent!
- Top your pasta with a hit of parmesan, a sprinkle of toasted almonds, charred tomatoes and finally top with a basil leaf