FUSILLI WITH PESTO, SEARED CHERRY TOMATOES AND PINE NUTS
Note: This can be served warm or chilled, which makes it a great dish for taking on the go. Swap in fresh mozzarella for a creamier addition to the dish. From "Robin Takes Five," by Robin Miller.
12 oz. fusilli or any spiral pasta
1/4 c. pine nuts
1 tsp. olive oil
2 c. halved cherry tomatoes (or the smaller grape tomatoes)
1/2 c. prepared basil pesto
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 oz. mozzarella cheese, diced
Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and keep warm.
Meanwhile, place pine nuts in a small, dry skillet and set the pan over medium heat. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until nuts are golden brown, shaking pan frequently.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add cherry tomatoes and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until tomatoes just start to break down. Fold in the cooked pasta and pesto, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes to heat through. Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Transfer pasta to a serving bowl and top with toasted pine nuts and diced mozzarella cheese.