Invite a taste of Italy to your table with this flavoursome basil pesto pasta. This is a great pasta feast for all seasons and reheats well for lunch leftovers the next day. Keep it vegetarian or add some shrimp to the mix for variation.
The classic combination of the fresh flavour of the basil pesto with the sweet cherry tomatoes is one of the highlights of this heavenly pasta creation.
The power of pesto
Pesto is thought to go back as far as the Roman times and traditionally consists of crushed garlic, pine nuts, coarse salt, basil leaves, and hard cheese such as Parmesan cheese, all blended with olive oil.
For the sake of convenience and as a time-saver, this recipe calls for store-bought jarred basil pesto.
Roasted to perfection
Roasted cherry tomatoes are super tender and bursting with concentrated flavour. Going the extra mile and roasting the juicy cherry tomatoes and mushrooms in some garlic, thyme, white wine and chilli or peppadews add to the wow factor of this delicious dish.
Pesto pasta tip
We’ve used tagliatelle in this recipe, but you can make this dish using just about any type of pasta. A clever tip is to mix the pesto sauce with some of the cooking liquid. This will help the pesto bind to any pasta you use.
Serve with a crispy green salad and crusty loaf of bread.
- 800 g cherry tomatoes
- 200 g small mushrooms
- 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 2 tbsp fresh thyme
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ tsp chilli flakes; fresh chilli or peppadews
- ⅓ cup white wine or good white balsamic vinegar
- 500 g tagliatelle
- Juice and zest of 1 lime
- 3 tbsp basil pesto and a little lime juice
- Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F
- Slice the tomatoes in half (optional). Then place your tomatoes in a roasting pan together with mushrooms, garlic, fresh thyme, oregano, chilli flakes and olive oil. Toss and mix.
- Roast for between 20 and 30 minutes.
- While the tomatoes are roasting, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions until al dente.
- Just before draining, remove a cup of pasta cooking water.
- After roasting the tomatoes for 20 to 30 minutes, add the wine or balsamic vinegar to the roasting dish and return to the oven for another five to eight minutes.
- Remove from the oven and scrape off all that yumminess from the bottom of the roasting pan. Add the pasta to the tomatoes in the roasting pan and toss to combine.
- Add dollops of pesto and splashes of the reserved pasta water to loosen and to create this super delicious sauce!
- Serve with extra spoons of pesto and fresh lime juice and zest if desired.