This is the 4th week of the blogging Mega Marathon and I have chosen to do Entrees all this week. The recipes I chose are something we like to eat as a family. More than being a fancy entrée, the recipes I am making are comfort food that you would want to snuggle up in the living room with your kids and eat while watching a movie.
My boys love to eat in front of the television and hence it is a treat for them once in a while. They get rewarded for some nice things that they do and they get a chance to watch television when eating. Those are days when they just want to eat something out of the bowl and not have to deal with 3 or 4 different things.
The first recipe that I have is this creamy pesto bake which I was dying to make after I saw a quick video on my face book feed. The baked pesto was so easy to put together and I knew that my pasta loving boys would really love it. Also I had tons of basil in my backyard (not for long, though) and I was looking to use it up before the end of the season.
The cherry tomatoes in the recipe added a very sweet note to the dish. My older one loved the cherry tomatoes and my little one hated it. Well, what else I would expect from a tomato hating kid. He hates tomatoes, but loves tomato soup. Go figure!!!
I make pesto at home and have posted about it earlier. My little one loves the pesto sauce and would ask me to make it again and again. This bakes pesto tasted quite different and was fun to eat with mozzarella in it. The original recipe had mozzarella balls in it which would have been even more interesting. I just used the shredded mozzarella cheese that I had in hand.
My other recipes this Marathon –
Preparation time – 10 minutes
Cooking time – 20 to 25 minutes
Difficulty level – easy
Recipe adapted from – Buzz Feed
Ingredients – serves 4
For the Pesto sauce –
- Basil – 2 cups (loosely packed)
- Pine nuts – ¼ cup
- Garlic – 2 cloves
- Olive oil – 1/3 cup
- Heavy cream – ¼ cup
- Cold water – 2 to 3 tbsp
- Parmesan cheese – 1/3 cup
- Salt- to taste
- Pepper – to taste
For the baked pasta –
- Pasta – 12 oz (penne or fusilli)
- Cherry tomatoes – ½ cup (halved)
- Mozzarella cheese – ¾ cup
- Parmesan cheese – ¼ cup
- To make the pesto – Add all the ingredients except the olive oil in a blender jar or food processor bowl and blend until combined. Now slowly add the olive oil and blend until it all comes together. The pesto is ready.
- Cook the pasta al dente. Make sure the pasta is pretty al dente as it will cook further in the oven.
- In an oven safe pan, combine the pasta, cherry tomatoes and the pesto.
- Layer the mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese on top.
- Bake at 400 F oven for 15 to 18 minutes or until the mozzarella has melted. Serve hot.