Monday, August 17, 2009

Fusilli estivi con pesto

This is a sort of take-off on caprese - the classic Italian salad of mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil. Here the basil comes in the form of pesto, which is very useful if you have too much basil to make a normal caprese!

Though I had my own basil plant last summer, this summer I've been moving around/on vacation too much to deal with having plants, so I've just been buying basil at the farmer's markets each week. The only problem with this is that you can't buy basil in quantities smaller than a gigantic bunch, and of course basil only lasts for a few days, so you have to eat it quick!

Since I really can't eat that much basil on my own, I've just been using as much as I need and then turning the rest into pesto. This has led to a bevy of interesting pesto creations for dinner, and so far, this pasta is my favorite.

75 g. fusilli per person
A handful of cherry tomatoes
Ciliegini di mozzarella (the little cherry tomato-sized balls of mozzarella)
Kalamata olives (I added them to jazz things up, but if you want to keep it simple, they can easily be omitted)
A few basil leaves for garnish

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, and add the fusilli. Wash the basil, cherry tomatoes, and olives, and chop the cherry tomatoes into halves. Pit the olives, and chop them into halves.

When the pasta is done cooking, drain it, and run cold water over it to cool it. Drain again, and combine with the pesto, mixing well. Add the cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, and olives, and mix again.

Serve, adding the basil leaves on top.

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