Monday, July 21, 2014

Made It Monday: Tomato Basil Pesto

Yesterday morning I had no clue what I would be sharing with you today on "Made It Monday". Then somewhere throughout the day, Tomato Basil Pesto was created. It was pretty much by accident.

Husband and I were planning to take a picnic to an open air concert at the local park Sunday evening. When the sunny weather suddenly turned into a thunderstorm our plans changed. We still had a picnic dinner but instead at home in our pajamas. It turned out to be a pretty relaxing night in! 
The main course of our indoor picnic dinner ended up being a noodle salad with Tomato Basil Pesto! The pesto was made with fresh herbs straight out of my garden. Sometimes I forget the herbs are out there...but creating this dish gave me a reason to go a little crazy with the scissors. 

Here are the directions:
Peel 4 garlic cloves and throw them into a mini food processor. (I used five and trust me...stick with four. I think I will be tasting garlic for days!) Don't worry about mincing the garlic. All the ingredients will be chopped together later on!
Just because I had them sitting inside my refrigerator, I threw 8 cherry tomatoes into the food processor. I also had leftover "cilantro" (this might be coriander actually) that I also added. I used about 20 leaves. My cooking philosophy is... "If it's in danger of going bad...throw it in." The more the merrier!
Add 1/2 a cup of tomato paste, 20 oregano leaves (not pictured), and 20-30 basil leaves to the food processor. If the texture is not thick enough to your liking, you can always add more leaves later on. 
Finely chop the garlic, cilantro, cherry tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, and oregano inside the food processor for about 30 seconds. This recipe is great because everything is chopped and mixed together in one step! Good thing because my cutting board was sitting in the dirty dishwasher. Add 1 Tablespoon of olive oil to the mixture and pulse for another 15 seconds. Set aside.
Meanwhile, pour two cups of dry noodles into a pot of boiling water. I let my noodles cook for about 10 minutes. 
I chose Fusilli noodles because I will be using them in another recipe later on this week! Really any type of noodle will work! When the noodles are finished, drain and rinse. Add the noodles to a medium sized mixing bowl. 
Pour the Tomato Basil Pesto over the top of the noodles. Admire all the pretty colors poking through the tomato sauce.
Look at all those fresh herbs! Salt to taste and gently stir the Tomato Basil Pesto to cover the noodles. Refrigerate until ready to serve. This recipe is perfect for making ahead of time!
*Tip- I served the pasta cold with a slice of avocado. I wasn't sure about the avocado flavor at first but it works! It actually added a creamy texture to the Tomato Basil Pesto. Sorry no picture with the avocado.

With Tomato Basil Pesto, I love that I was able to use fresh herbs from my garden and items already on hand from the pantry. I think noodle salad with Tomato Basil Pesto would be a great side dish on a picnic because it could withstand the summer heat without the danger of spoiling. 

What is your picnic go-to dish? I would love to hear your response!

Happy Monday,

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