Sometimes it is the simple dishes that taste the best!
Pesto Tomato Pasta Salad
1 pound bow tie pasta (farfalle)
3/4 cup Pesto, recipe follows
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil, as needed
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Stir in the bow ties and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain the pasta and run it under cold water just until it stops steaming. Bounce the pasta around to get rid of as much water as you can.
Dump the pasta into a large serving bowl. Stir in the pesto until the pasta is coated. Toss in the cherry tomatoes and the crumbled feta. Taste the salad and season it as you like with salt and pepper. You can make the salad up to about 1 hour before you serve it. Check out the salt and pepper just before you serve the salad. If it's looking a little dry, add some olive oil and stir it around.
5 big handfuls basil leaves (about 2 hefty bunches)
1/2 cup pine nuts or 3/4 cup walnuts
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
Juice of 1 small lemon
2 cloves garlic, peeled
About 20 grinds freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Place all ingredients with 1/2 cup of the oil in a blender and blend. Gradually drizzle in the remaining 1/4 cup of oil until pesto is thick and smooth.
Yield: about 1 1/2 cups
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