Pesto Radiatori

I’ve been doing a series on basil.  It has come time to harvest my massive basil invasion.  I’ve even given bunches of it away just so it doesn’t go to waste.  I’ve done Basil Pesto, Freezing Basil Pesto, Freezing Basil with extra virgin olive oil and now, this Basil Pesto Pasta.  I’ve even made Basil cookies that was delicious!  I’ll post that one soon and come back to add the link.

Pasta is a staple in my pantry.  It’s such an easy thing to turn into a great meal.  Since I made some fresh Basil Pesto, I decided I just had to do my Pesto Radiatori.  Pasta comes in so many different sizes and shapes that depending on what I’m doing with it, I try to pick a pasta that is interesting.  Have you seen the radiatori pasta shape?  It’s one of my new favorites with all of those crevices for sauces to dip down into.  Oh my goodness.  Well, that’s what I chose to make my pasta dish last night.  It’s so stinking easy and quick.  Makes a wonderful go to meal during the week.  Add a grilled chicken breast and what else could you ask for?

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Here’s how I do it.

Pasta Radiatori

Honestly, there’s no real measurements here.  I tend to go by how many people I’m feeding and whether it’s the main meal or a side dish.  But I will give you the basic ratio and you can ad lib it however it pleases you.  Deal?  I will attach a recipe to this post just like my others.  At the time that I made this dish, I didn’t take pictures during the making, just the plating.  Next time I do make it, I will add pictures to this post.  But for the moment, I wanted to get this to you so you can try it!

For Paul and I, I tend to make this the main dish with a grilled chicken breast on the side allowing for a leftover portion for his lunch the next day.

As a general rule, a 1 pound box feeds about 8 people.  So I did about 8 ounces to make about 4 servings.

Bring a 3 quart pot of water to a boil and add about a Tablespoon of salt.  Yes, a Tablespoon.  It really is the difference in making bland pasta into a tasty pasta.  Kinda like adding salt to potatoes.

Once your water is boiling, add your pasta, stir to make sure they’re not sticking to the bottom and bring back to a boil.  Cook uncovered according to the package instructions.

Reserve 1 mug full of the pasta water.

Drain pasta but don’t rinse.  The starch on the pasta helps the sauce adhere.

Basil Pesto

Put the pasta into a bowl and add about 1/3 – 1/2 cup of Basil Pesto.  Start with the 1/3 and add more until you get it like you want.

Stir to incorporate.

Add about 4 Tablespoons of the pasta water and stir.  Sometimes the pesto needs a little help getting into those crevices.  Add more if it’s still a little dry.  When the pasta is nice and hot, the water will also soak into the pasta, so it’s not going to be liquidy.  (I don’t think that’s a real word, but it fits…)

Now, if you look at your pasta dish and it looks like it needs more pesto, by all means add more.  I’m always altering ratios to suit my immediate desired taste.  Sometimes I like more, so I add more.  Taste the pasta for saltiness and add a dash if you need to.

I keep toasted pine nuts in the freezer and fresh Parmesan/Asiago cheeses in the refrigerator.  I top off the pasta dish with a hand full of pine nuts plus shavings and/or grated cheeses.

Pesto Radiatori

So easy and packed full of flavors that I just love.

There are so many different types, shapes and sizes of wonderful pastas.  What shape do you like to use for pesto or sauces?

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Here’s the printer friendly recipe.

Pesto Radiatori

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces dried Radiatori pasta
  • 1/3-1/2 cup basil pesto
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan/Asiago cheese

Instructions

  1. Bring a 3 quart pot of water to a boil and add about a Tablespoon of salt.
  2. Add your pasta, stir to make sure they’re not sticking to the bottom and bring back to a boil and cook according to the package instructions.
  3. Reserve 1 mug full of the pasta water.
  4. Drain pasta but don’t rinse. The starch on the pasta helps the sauce adhere.
  5. Put the pasta into a large bowl and add the basil pesto.
  6. Stir to incorporate.
  7. Add 4 Tablespoons of the pasta water and stir. Sometimes the pesto needs a little help getting into those crevices. Add more if needed. When the pasta is nice and hot, the water will also soak into the pasta.
  8. Now, it you look at your pasta dish and it looks like it needs more pesto, by all means add more. I’m always altering ratios to suit my immediate desired taste. Sometimes I like more, so I add more. Taste the pasta for saltiness and add a dash if you need to.
  9. Top with toasted pine nuts and fresh grated Parmesan/Asiago cheese.
  10. I keep toasted pine nuts in the freezer and fresh Parmesan/Asiago cheeses in the refrigerator. I top off the pasta dish with a hand full of pine nuts plus shavings and/or grated cheeses.
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