Make Ahead

Cherry Tomato Pesto

August 15, 2011
3 Ratings
Author Notes

When the cherry tomatoes are ripe and get that intense flavor of summer I love to come up with different uses for them. This is an uncooked sauce that can be tossed with any type of pasta. We used it for spaghetti. It has a brightness from the fresh tomatoes and basil and a rich nuttiness from the walnuts. Great for all ages! - Carrie Cowan —Carrie Cowan

Test Kitchen Notes

What an interesting departure from my comfortable and exclusive world of pine nuts and basil pesto. By using walnuts and tomatoes as the stars of the show, this pesto becomes lighter and brighter. But keeping the Parmesan and basil around gives the sauce a familiarity which ensured it's easy recognition and warm welcome at our dinner table. The next time this gets made for dinner (oh, and it WILL be made again), I will probably roast the garlic for just a few minutes to take a little of the edge off the sauce which, because it is so much less dense than a traditional pesto, lets the raw garlic creep up a little too close to the main characters. What a fun and easy -- that's always key in my house -- dish. I might add some leftover chicken and enjoy it as a main course. Yummy! - Niknud —Niknud

  • Serves 6
  • 3/4 cup basil leaves
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • basil for garnish
  • parmesan cheese for topping
In This Recipe
  1. Combine basil, oil, parmesan, walnuts, tomatoes, garlic, and salt in the food processor.
  2. Pulse until the sauce is smooth, about two minutes.
  3. Cook 1 lb. of pasta according to the package directions and drain.
  4. Toss the pesto with the hot, cooked pasta.
  5. Serve with more basil and parmesan cheese on top.
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