Pesto Pasta with Slow-Roasted Tomatoes
Yield: about 4 servings
For the tomatoes:
  • 2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes
  • olive or grapeseed oil
  • sea salt
For the pesto:
  • about 2 cups of fresh basil leaves
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese
For the rest:
  • 1 box of your choice of pasta
  • 1 cup reserved pasta cooking liquid
  • extra cheese and salt to taste
  1. Heat your oven to 250°F. Chop your tomatoes in half and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Toss with a tablespoon or two of oil so they are well coated. Flip them all so the cut side is facing up, making a little bowl of the seeds. Sprinkle with sea salt. Roast for 1.5-2 hours until they are significantly shriveled.
  2. When your tomatoes are almost done, heat a pot of water to boil for the pasta. Cook the pasta according to package instructions to make it "al dente." We start checking ours after about 7 minutes in the water. Before you drain it, reserve about 1 cup of the cooking liquid and set aside.
  3. While your pasta is cooking, make the pesto. Submerge your fresh basil leaves in a bowl of cold water for a minimum of five minutes. Place the nuts, oil, garlic and salt in a food processor or blender and process until the mixture is very smooth. Shake the water off the basil and add it to the nut/oil mixture. Give it about five pulses, just until it's evenly combined and the mixture is light green. Add the cheese and mix just until combined, another few pulses. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
  4. After draining your pasta, immediately put it back in the warm pot. Add a large scoop of pesto and mix around. Add a few splashes of your reserved pasta water, which will help to pull everything together and make your pesto coat the pasta nicely. Add in the tomatoes. Keep adding pesto and cooking water until your sauce is the strength and consistency you want. Salt the pasta as desired. Store any leftover pesto in the fridge.
  5. Top your bowls of pasta with extra cheese and fresh basil, if desired. Leftovers make a great cold lunch the next day.
pesto adapted from Keys to the Kitchen
Recipe by Cake Over Steak at