Ok folks, it doesn’t get much easier or tastier than this dish, my easy pesto pasta! The satisfaction and fullness from the pasta, the energy from the beans and the flavors from the pesto and tomatoes make this one of the best dishes you can have in your repertoire. I have been making this dish the exact same way since I was in college and I am not tired of it yet.
What I needed back then (and still do today) is a dish that I could easily make and pack up and bring with me on campus (at the time) or work and would fuel me for an entire day and this dish does just that! The only cooking you need to do is cook the pasta and the rest is just assembling. This is proof that great meals can be assembled! This meal is perfect for a meal at home or as a take along to an outing since it is served at room temperature. It also heat up nicely in the microwave if you prefer it hot.
Now to the pesto, if you have a favorite brand that you like then by all means use that if it is easier for you. Just make sure it is a good one. If you want to make your own, I have a wonderful pesto recipe that I have been using for years and I love it. If you do decide to make your own pesto, I highly suggest making a double batch and freezing some it until you need it. Why go through all that work for one batch when you can essentially make 2 batches in the same amount of time. I am always thinking of these shortcuts in the kitchen.
If you want to make your own pesto, here is my recipe that is very popular and easy:
I have made and bought my own pesto and there is no shame in store bought. In fact it is a real time saver for quick meals to keep some in your pantry. This recipe also calls for cannellini beans which can totally be optional, however, I highly recommend them in this dish. It makes the pasta go from just a regular pesto pasta to a high energy dish. The beans are really good for you and the creaminess from these Italian beans goes so well with the dish.
The last thing that you will see that is a little different in my recipe for pesto pasta than others is the addition of balsamic vinegar. This to me is very important and it really adds a depth of flavor that I feel pesto over pasta lacks. Pesto on its own is bold a full flavored but once it is mixed with pasta it dulls the flavors a bit. The vinegar helps wake those flavors back up. It is just a little that you add so don’t worry that it will be too much.
- 1 box of pasta choose a shape that holds the pesto well like corkscrew or penne
- 1 jar of your favorite pesto I love sacla which I find in the Italian section of the grocery store or homemade pesto
- 1 pint of cherry tomatoes
- 1 small can of cannellini beans rinsed well and drained
- 2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cook pasta according to the package instructions
- In a large bowl, combine the drained beans, pesto, tomatoes and balsamic vinegar
- When pasta is fully cooked, strain and add it to the bowl
- Toss pasta and ingredients together well to combine
- Taste for seasoning and see if salt or pepper is needed