Pesto Pasta Salad

4 cups fresh basil leaves, packed

1 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

1/2 - 1 cup extra virgin olive oil (just watch how it mixes)

1/2 cup pine nuts

6 tablespoons garlic cloves, minced

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

cooked pasta

1 container cherry or grape tomatoes


Combine the basil with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor or blender. Add the garlic, pulse a few times more. Slowly add the olive oil (watch the consistency of the pesto and stop when it's how you like it) while the food processor is on (make sure the blender is off if you use a blender). Stop & scrape down the sides of the food processor with a spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

 

Mix the cooked pasta and the tomatoes up in a bowl with the pesto mixture. Top with more Romano or Parmesan cheese if desired.


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