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Tomato and Basil Pesto Pasta


Tomato and Basil Pesto Pasta
Recipe: Tjaart Walraven
Serves: 4
Preparation: 5 minutes
Cooking: 10 minutes
Basil Pesto 
40 g basil leaves 
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp roasted peanuts
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup sunflower 
60 g Parmesan cheese, grated
salt and pepper
200 g spaghetti, dried
60 g basil pesto
400 g Rosa tomatoes, halved
60 g Parmesan cheese
2 x 50 g mozzarella balls 
basil leaves, to garnish
Extra Virgin Olive oil, to drizzle
Basil Pesto
Blanch the basil leaves for 30 seconds in a saucepan of boiling water, strain and then plunge into ice-cold water for 2 minutes. Remove the basil leaves once cool and squeeze out the excess water. Place all the pesto ingredients into a liquidiser or food processor and puree until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Keep 60 g aside for the pasta and refrigerate the rest in a sealed container. 
Cook the spaghetti as per instructions or until al dante, if its home-made it will only take 2 minutes. Drain the pasta and tip back into the saucepan. Add 60 g of the basil pesto and toss. Add the tomatoes and half the Parmesan cheese.  Once melted, plate up, sprinkle with the remaining parmesan cheese and tear the mozzarella balls onto the pasta. Garnish with basil leaves and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

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