What’s better than the garden-fresh flavor you get from end-of-season tomatoes? That fresh flavor paired with DaVinci spaghetti to give you the perfect light end of summer meal!
Sponsored post written by me on behalf of DaVinci Pasta. The opinions and text are all my own.
Summer tomatoes are always the best. They are so sweet and tasty. Roasting them on the grill gives them a unique flavor that complements the pesto in this pasta dish and really brings out the feeling of summer. I also love roasting tomatoes on the grill in the summer as it’s super easy and means you don’t have to fire up your oven on a hot summer evening. And roasting them is easy, just toss them with some oil and throw them on the grill in some type of a grill basket. Six minutes later you’ll have beautifully roasted tomatoes.
Incorporating pesto into a pasta dish is the perfect way to add a little sauce without overwhelming the rest of the flavors in the dish. This pesto gets its special twist from a combination of walnuts, Italian parsley and parmesan. Italian parsley is often viewed as a garnish or extra, but not in this pesto. Combining it with the toasted walnuts really makes it pop, adding a unique flavor to your pasta dish!
The base for the dish is DaVinci Signature Spaghetti. DaVinci pastas are made from high-quality ingredients and imported from Italy which gives them the best flavor. I like to cook my pasta just slightly past what is considered al dente. I think that gives it the right texture without becoming too soggy. There are endless possibilities when you’re working with a great pasta like DaVinci!
The roasted tomatoes, fresh-tasting pesto and perfect pasta make this a mouthwatering dish that will have your dinner guest asking for seconds!
Notes from the Kitchen
- If you have the option, fresh grape or cherry tomatoes from your garden or the farmer’s market will give you the best flavor. Fresh, sweet grape tomatoes from the grocery store will also work just fine!
- Don’t forget to reserve some of your pasta cooking liquid when you drain the spaghetti! This starchy liquid helps make the dish a little creamy and saucy without adding any cream or extra cheese.
- The easiest way to toast nuts is on your stovetop in a non-stick pan. It’s way less work than firing up your oven and you can toast them quickly and evenly. Just heat the pan to medium low heat and toss in the nuts. Depending on the type of nuts, you’ll want to toast them for anywhere from 4-10 minutes. It’s about 5 minutes for walnuts in this recipe.
Things you may want for this recipe
- Davinci Spaghetti – DaVinci pastas are made in Italy with the finest ingredients, which gives them a great taste and makes them the perfect base for all kinds of pasta dishes.
- Grill pan or basket – I use this basket for grilling all kinds of small veggies. It keeps things like tomatoes, smaller potatoes and even onion rounds from falling through the grates of your grill.
- Food processor – A good food processor is really a requirement for making pesto. I always recommend investing in at least this 9-cup size but if you are really tight on space in your kitchen the 4-cup version will work too.
What’s better than the garden fresh flavor you get from end of season tomatoes? That fresh flavor paired with DaVinci spaghetti to give you the perfect light end of summer meal!
- ½ cup walnut pieces
- 1 pint sweet grape tomatoes
- ½ cup olive oil, divided
- ½ tsp dried basil
- 1 garlic clove
- ⅛ tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 oz Parmesan cheese, grated (about ⅓ cup)
- 1 cup Italian parsley leaves, plus additional for garnish
- 1 cup mini fresh mozzarella balls, cut in half
- ½ pound Davinci Signature Spaghetti
- chopped Italian parsley, for garnish
- Preheat a grill to medium heat (about 350°F).
- While the grill is preheating bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling and add the spaghetti. Cook for 11 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving ½ cup of the pasta water.
- Add the walnuts to a non-stick pan over medium low heat. Toast for 5-6 minutes. Shaking periodically to ensure an even toast. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Add the tomatoes, basil and 1 tbsp olive oil to a small mixing bowl. Toss to coat. Place a veggie grilling pan or basket on your grill and add the tomatoes. Cook tomatoes for 6 minutes. A few may “pop” as they cook. When done, remove from grill and let cool slightly.
- To make the pesto add the toasted walnuts to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a standard blade and pulse 4-5 times. Add the garlic and pulse a few more times. Add red pepper flakes, parmesan and parsley. Pulse until well combined. With the motor running, add the remaining olive oil and continue to process until fully blended.
- To prepare the dish, add the pasta to a large sauté pan over medium heat. Toss in the pesto and reserved pasta water, stirring to combine. Add the roasted tomatoes and heat for 1-2 minutes. Divide among four serving dishes and top with mozzarella and chopped Italian parsley. Serve immediately.