This is just one example of how a good pesto can be used so well in so many ways. People always rave about this combo, and I can’t blame ’em—it’s one of those matches made in heaven. The pesto coats the warm pasta to make a creamy, rich sauce, which is accented by the crumbled feta and contrasted by the sweet and tart cherry tomatoes. If you’re looking to cut cost but not taste, try substituting walnuts for pine nuts and Pecorino cheese for Parmesan.
- 1 pound bow tie pasta (farfalle)
- 1 recipe pesto (following)
- ½ pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- ¾ cup crumbled feta cheese
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 5 big handfuls washed and dried basil leaves (about 2 hefty bunches)
- ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup pine nuts or ¾ cup walnuts
- ½ cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese or Pecorino cheese
- Juice of 1 small lemon
- 3-4 good pinches salt
- About 20 grinds freshly ground black pepper
To make the pesto: Place all ingredients with a half cup of the oil in a blender and blend. Gradually add the remaining quarter cup of oil until pesto is thick and smooth.
To make the pasta: Heat a large pot of salted water to a boil. Stir in the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain the pasta and run it under cold water just until it stops steaming. Bounce the pasta around to get rid of as much water as you can.
Dump the pasta into a large serving bowl. Stir in the pesto until the pasta is coated. Toss in the cherry tomatoes and crumbled feta. Taste the salad and season it as you like with salt and pepper. You can make the salad up to about an hour before you serve it. Check out the salt and pepper just before you serve the salad. If it’s looking a little dry, add some olive oil and stir it around.