Lemon Pesto Pasta
1 onion - diced
4 to 5 (depending on size) cloves of minced garlic
28 oz. can of chopped ripe peeled plum tomatoes
1 tsp Cayenne or blackening seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups fresh basil
1 cup Ricotta Cheese
1 cup Parmesan Cheese
3 cups dry pasta (any shape will work)
1 tbsp Olive Oil
2 cloves of garlic
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1 cup flat leaf parsley
½ cup toasted walnuts (OPTIONAL)
1 cup good Extra Virgin Olive Oil
The juice of 1-2 lemons (can adjust depending on how lemony you like it)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup of Parmesan Cheese (OPTIONAL- Cheese-less version is GREAT and healthier!)
Coat bottom of a sauté pan with olive oil. Heat briefly on medium flame and saute onions and garlic until soft. Add kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste and then add can of tomatoes to softened onions & garlic. Add cayenne pepper, mix and lower the flame to allow the mixture to simmer and reduce/thicken. Once the mixture has reduced by about ¼, add one cup of slivered basil leaves.
PESTO: Place basil, parsley toasted walnuts, garlic, lemon, salt and pepper in food processor and blend…With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is thoroughly pureed. Add the Parmesan (if using) and puree for a minute. Serve over pasta with bread and salad, or with roasted potatoes! Can also be stored in the refrigerator or freezer with a thin film of olive oil on top to retain color.
While the tomato sauce thickens: Combine in a lasagna baking dish: 1 cup of the pesto sauce, the Ricotta cheese and the Parmesan cheese.
Boil salted water and add pasta – cook until al dente. Pre heat oven to BROIL - Add thickened tomato sauce to the pesto ricotta mixture and combine. Add just cooked pasta to the mixture and combine. Cover with a layer of fresh mozzarella and finish with a sprinkling of grated Parmesan. Put in oven on Broil until mozzarella melts and gets golden in spots (about 5 minutes, but check on it). Allow to rest for a minute and serve.