I have a tremendous love for pesto. Really, I do. But the sad thing is that I don’t have it nearly as often as I would like, because I always seem to forget that it’s a viable option for dinner. Why on Earth would I forget about that? I couldn’t tell you, honestly; the memory of it must reside someplace in my brain that has been ruined from all my pregnancies. But! The fun thing about suddenly remembering to make pesto is the fact that I get to make pesto! Ha! And you just know that I have this wonderful basil plant growing on my patio that I’ve essentially picked bare for my pesto pasta.
One of the things I love most about a great pesto pasta is that you can throw pretty much whatever you want in it and it will taste amazing. I like to add seasonal veggies, a good cheese, and a non-cheese protein of some sort, mostly for the benefit of my husband, who refuses to eat anything that doesn’t contain meat. Manly man, and all that jazz. Clearly, I roll my eyes at him.
This latest pesto pasta is easily the best I have ever made. I added frozen peas, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and pan-fried prosciutto. The flavors are so rich and savory it’s like a party in my mouth. I was seriously a sad sad Karly when I ran out of pesto pasta. I wanted more. Sad Karly.
This recipe is so easy to make. Seriously. All you need is a food processor to whip up some fresh pesto, and a pan to crisp up the prosciutto and warm the peas, and a pot to cook the pasta. It all comes together in minutes!
Another plus about this recipe is that it’s definitely kid-approved. At least, my kids approved, ha ha ha. They gobbled it right up, and they generally poo-poo peas like they’re the plague. What’s up with that, anyway? Why do kids universally hate peas? Can someone please explain this strange phenomenon? They would rather eat handfuls of mushrooms and olives over peas and I.DON’T.GET.IT.
Whatever, kids are weird. But at least pesto makes it all better, ha ha ha.
Enjoy this pasta with some crusty bread and olive oil, and a big ol’ glass of wine. Yum.
For The Pesto
- 1 C Fresh Basil Packed
- 3 Cloves of Garlic Peeled
- ¼ C Pine Nuts
- ⅓ C Fresh Grated Parmesan
- ⅓-1/2 C Olive Oil
- Kosher Salt to Taste
- Fresh Ground Pepper to Taste
For The Pesto Pasta
- 12 oz Cavatappi Pasta
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 5 oz Prosciutto Sliced Thin and Diced
- 2 C Frozen Peas
- 1 C Sun-Dried Tomatoes Diced
- ¾ C Pesto
- 10 oz Fresh Mozzarella Cubed
For The Pesto
- Combine the basil, garlic, pine nuts, parmesan and a pinch of salt and pepper in a food processor and process on low. With the processor still running, slowly add the olive oil until the mixture emulsifies into a liquid consistency. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste, adding more olive oil if you desire a thinner pesto.
For The Pesto Pasta
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the directions on the package.
- While the pasta is cook, heat a fry pan to medium-high with the olive oil, then add the prosciutto and fry until just crispy, about 5 minutes. Add the frozen peas and cook until heated-through and soft, about 4 minutes. Then add the sun-dried tomatoes and continue to cook for another minute or two. Remove from heat.
- When the pasta has finished cooking, drain well and return to the pot. Pour in ¾ C of the pesto, add the prosciutto, pea, and sun-dried tomato mixture, and the cubed mozzarella, toss well until all the ingredients are combined, then plate and serve!