Pasta Pesto and Cherry Tomatoes

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I am cooking out of Rush-Hour Recipes this week and this is one of the recipes I chose.  I LOVE it!!  I am a real fan of pesto to begin with and this recipe is so easy and delicious I could have eaten the whole bowl myself.   I ate it for dinner last night hot and for lunch today cold.  I had to add some pesto today just to loosen it up a bit but I loved it both ways and I know I’ll be using this recipe over and over.

The recipe was submitted by Barbara Bargdill of Gooseberry Patch.

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Pasta Pesto & Cherry Tomatoes

12 oz box of rotini or fusilli pasta, uncooked
3 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered ~ I used grape tomatoes, halved
salt to taste
1/4 cup basil pesto ~ I used slightly more
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Garnish with grated Romano cheese if desired

Cook pasta according to the package until tender and drain, reserving one cup of the cooking liquid in case it’s needed to moisten the pasta. Return pasta to the cooking pot.

In a bowl, toss the quartered tomatoes with the salt and then the pesto.

Add tomato mixture to the pasta and add some of the cooking liquid at this point if it’s needed. I did need a little but probably less than 1/4 cup.

Add the mozzarella cheese and toss.  After plating, add the Romano to the top of the pasta on each plate.

Makes 4 servings as a main dish; 6-8 as a side dish.

VIEW PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE!

Happy Cooking!

Chicken Pesto Casserole

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When I was looking over the Land O’Lakes website a couple of weeks ago, I found this gem of a recipe.  I just happened to have some pesto  in the fridge that needed to be used up so I decided to give this recipe a try.  Easy and delicious ~ my two favorite things!

I cooked up the chicken just for this but it would be a great way to use up leftovers.

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Chicken Pesto Casserole ~ Land O’Lakes

1 (12 oz) pkg rotini ~ I used the multi-colored kind
3 cups cubed, cooked chicken
1 cup milk
1/4 cup purchased pesto
1 (16 oz) jar Alfredo sauce
1 (7 oz) jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 cup plain dried breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsps butter, melted

Heat oven to 350º. Cook pasta according to pkg directions; drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, combine the chicken, milk, pesto, Alfredo sauce, red peppers and pepper in a mixing bowl. Stir in the cooked pasta and spread mixture into a greased 3-quart baking dish. Cover with foil and bake 20 minutes.

Combine breadcrumbs, Parm cheese, and butter in a small bowl and sprinkle over casserole. Continue baking uncovered until edges are bubbly and topping is golden brown. ~ about 15 minutes or so.

Makes 8 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Tortellini with Pesto Dip

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This is a super easy easy appetizer and the dip is spot on with the tortellini.  I am addicted to this stuff!  It’s perfect for a party or even as a side dish on your table.  I found the recipe in a Taste of Home cookbook submitted by Cheryl Lame.

I cut regular wooden skewers in half instead of buying some just for this and it worked out well.

Tortellini with Pesto Dip

4 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tbsps olive oil, divided
1 pkg (10 ozs) refrigerated spinach tortellini
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup prepared pesto
1/8 tsp pepper
1 pint grape tomatoes

On a double thickness of aluminum foil, place the garlic cloves and drizzle with 1 tbsps olive oil. Wrap the foil around and roast in the oven at 425º for 20-25 minutes or until tender. Cool for 15 minutes.

While garlic is cooking, cook tortellini according to the package, drain, rise in cold water. Toss with remaining 1 tbsp olive oil and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the mayo, Parmesan, milk, pesto and pepper. Squeeze the garlic into this mixture and stir until combined.

Thread tortellini and tomatoes onto skewers and serve with pesto dip.

I made all of this ahead and stored in the refrigerator.

Makes about 2 dozen skewers and 1 1/2 cups dip.

Happy Cooking!

Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms

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I found this recipe on the internet (cdkitchen, I think) quite awhile ago and it’s been sitting in my “to-try” pile.  I had some pesto in the fridge that I needed to use up so I finally tried the recipe.  It’s delicious!  It’s easy to make and would be perfect for a party or to have as a side dish like we did. I cut the recipe in half.

Pesto Musrooms Added

Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms

24 large mushrooms, cleaned and stems removed and saved for the stuffing
melted butter (a couple of tbsps should be enough)
additional 3 tbsps butter
2 tbsps minced onions
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 cup pesto
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
melted butter (a couple of tbsps should be enough)
Parmesan cheese, optional

After removing stems from caps, brush mushrooms with the melted butter and place in a lightly greased pie plates or baking dish.

Mince the stems.

In a skillet, melt the butter and saute the stems, onions, and garlic until softened. Combine this mixture with the pesto and breadcrumbs, mixing well. Spoon the mixture into the caps, mounding it. Sprinkle with grated cheese if desired.

Bake at 400º for 10 to 15 minutes until tender and lightly browned. Serve immediately.

Makes 12 servings of 2 caps per serving.

Pesto Mushrooms 2 Added

Happy Cooking!

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