Better Bites

My experiments in healthy eating, cooking, and living

20 Minute Meal: Pesto Coated Pasta With Roasted Grape Tomatoes

Pesto pasta

This picture doesn’t capture the tastiness of this dish, which was simple yet delicious.

In life, there are some ingredients that just shouldn’t be separated: tomatoes and basil, peanut butter and jelly, vanilla and chocolate, and strawberries and bananas. I’m sure you can think of many more inseparable food pairings. For me, I don’t just have go-to flavor combinations that I love, but also other things in my life that go so well together that I can’t imagine one without the other: movies and cloudy days, girlfriends and wine, weekend mornings and pancakes, and sunny days and running. It’s almost like I’d be trying to buck the system by having one without the other. It could end up being catastrophic.

On Wednesday night, I opted to avoid the possibility of disaster in my kitchen at all costs, so I went the safe route. I made a creamy avocado pesto with basil and paired it with wheat orecchiette pasta and tangy, oven-roasted grape tomatoes. The flavor of the mild pesto and the tangy tomatoes created a fusion of flavor with each bite I took. Tomatoes and basil win again. I just don’t see a way to go wrong when using these two ingredients in savory recipes. What foods have you found that were meant for each other?

Max and Layla 2

The peanut butter and jelly of my life: Max and Layla (with their new summer poodle haircuts).

Pesto Pasta with Roasted Grape Tomatoes:

*Serves 2

Pesto Pasta Ingredients:

*Pesto Recipe from Oh She Glows

1/2 an avocado, diced

1 garlic clove, diced

3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp of fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup of water

1/4 tsp of sea salt and freshly ground pepper (for pesto)

1 cup of fresh basil leaves, packed tightly when measured

1/2 pound of whole wheat pasta

1/4 tsp of sea salt, pepper, and garlic powder (for pasta)

Roasted Tomato Ingredients: 

1 1/2 cups of grape tomatoes, halved

1/2 cup of Italian seasoned panko bread crumbs (or plain bread crumbs with 1/2 tsp of garlic powder, dried oregano, and dried basil mixed in)

1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil for the bread crumbs + a little more for the tomatoes

Method:

1- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Halve the grape tomatoes and then drizzle a bit of olive oil on them and spread them onto a baking sheet (flat side up). Mix the olive oil with the panko bread crumbs. Then sprinkle the mixture onto the tomatoes. Bake them in the oven for about 20 to 25 minutes. Upon taking them out, they should be tender and the bread crumbs should be beginning to brown.

2- While the tomatoes are baking, put a pot of water on the stove over high heat. When it begins to boil add the pasta. While the pasta is boiling add the pesto ingredients (water, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, avocado, salt, pepper, and basil) to a blender. Blend until smooth.

3- When the pasta is tender, strain it and then put it into a serving bowl. Add the pesto on top and mix well. Then gently fold in the tomatoes.

What do you think about the tomato-basil combo? What is your favorite way to use these two ingredients?

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