Pesto Pasta Bake

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.

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