Cavatappi with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Pesto

It's hard to make a summer produce pasta that not a stunner.

Serving Size: 6

Cavatappi with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Pesto / Sarah Crowder / Katie Workman / themom100.com
Summer, summer, summer.  The word is fat and round and breezy and rolls around nicely on the tongue.  And we want our food to be breezy, too.

If you have basil and tomatoes growing in your garden, make this.  If you have a farmers’ market near you, make this.  If you have leftover pesto hanging around, even store-bought, you can still make this.

Cavatappi with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Pesto / Sarah Crowder / Katie Workman / themom100.com

You’ll cook the pasta and make the pesto in the time it takes to roast the little tomatoes.  You can see that I used orangey yellow tomatoes.  No reason; it’s what I had.  This would be perfect with any color tomatoes, and a mix of colors would be super lovely.

By no means do you have to use cavatappi – it was the pasta I grabbed at the moment, and I do love it’s compact, chewy, twisted little shape.

Another thing to love is the fact that this can be served hot, warm, or at room temperature.  It’s a great make ahead dish, hanging out happily for a day in the fridge before bringing to room temperature and serving, and it’s very portable.

Cavatappi with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Pesto / Sarah Crowder / Katie Workman / themom100.com

And it’s not too hard on the eyes either.   If you had some roasted pepper hanging around your could slice them up and add them to the mix.  I would also tuck a few whole basil leaves in here and there for a really gorgeous presentation.

Cavatappi with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Pesto / Sarah Crowder / Katie Workman / themom100.com

Summer pastas are usually just plain gorgeous.

Other pastas to make the most of everything that’s at the market:

 

Cavatappi with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Pesto: This pasta dish is what to do with extra tomatoes and basil, whether from the market or your garden.

Cavatappi with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Pesto

Print

  • 2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 5 fresh thyme
  • About ½ cup olive oil, divided
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup packed basil leaves
  • 3 tablespoons finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1 pound cavatappi or other chunky pasta

1. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat it with nonstick cooking spray. Place the tomatoes and thyme sprigs on the baking sheet and toss them with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 30 minutes, until they are wrinkly and slightly collapsed.

Cavatappi with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Pesto: This pasta dish is what to do with extra tomatoes and basil, whether from the market or your garden.

2. While the tomatoes are roasting, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. While the water is coming to a boil, make the pesto. Place the garlic and basil in a food processor or blender and pulse until everything is roughly chopped. Add ¼ cup of the oil, a bit of salt and pepper and process, scraping down the sides, part way through, until everything is well blended. If it is very thick, add a bit more olive oil. Add the cheese and pulse until blended in.

Cavatappi with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Pesto: This pasta dish is what to do with extra tomatoes and basil, whether from the market or your garden.

3. Cook the cavatappi according to package directions. Reserve ½ cup of the cooking water, and drain the pasta. Toss the pasta with the cooking water, remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil (more if it seems dry) and the roasted tomatoes (discard the thyme sprigs), and transfer to a serving bowl. Dollop the pesto on top, and toss. Serve hot, warm or cold.

Cavatappi with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Pesto: This pasta dish is what to do with extra tomatoes and basil, whether from the market or your garden.

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