Pesto Farfalle with Roasted Grape Tomatoes and Goat Cheese

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Wanna go to Tuscany this summer?

Yeah, me neither! I mean, who likes delicious food, cypress-lined rolling hills, tiny picturesque towns and the beautiful Mediterranean anyways?!

But all bitterness aside: Here is an upgraded version of a classic northern Italian dish that the whole family can enjoy and that takes minimal time to make. This healthy yet comforting plant-based recipe combines aromatic basil pesto with the contrasting flavor of sweet and juicy oven roasted grape tomatoes. Sprinkle in some creamy goat cheese and presto! – summer in Italy in the comfort of your own home.

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 1 pack farfalle (organic whole grain or gluten free)
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup raw pine nuts
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 2-3 cloves or garlic, minced
  • Juice and zest from 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded (optional)
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled (optional)
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

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Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F.
  2. Cook the farfalle according to the instructions on the package. Set aside.
  3. In a single layer, place the grape tomatoes in a 9 x 13″ glass baking dish. Coat them with one tablespoon olive oil, season with pepper and salt and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes (stirring halfway through) until they start to shrivel.
  4. In the meantime, put the pine nuts and garlic in a large food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped.
  5. Add the basil, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Keep processing while adding as much olive oil as needed for the pesto to reach a smooth and creamy consistency, about 1/4 cup.
  6. In a large bowl, toss the farfalle in the pesto until evenly coated. Add the grape tomatoes, top with a little bit of goat cheese and serve immediately.

Teachable Tips:

  1. Basil – derived from the Greek word basileus meaning king – is rich in vitamins A, K, and C, as well as magnesium, iron, potassium, and calcium. Similar to other aromatic plants, basil contains a variety of phytochemicals and essential oils that have potent antioxidant, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties. In addition, it is said to have potential for use in treating cancer.
  2. Pesto does not like air! Make sure you store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge, preferably with a thin layer of olive oil on top to prevent oxidization.
  3. It tastes great the next day on top of a warm slice of crusty Ciabatta bread. Also, wine…obvi!

Enjoy!

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7 thoughts on “Pesto Farfalle with Roasted Grape Tomatoes and Goat Cheese

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