Warm Caprese Pesto Pasta

This super simple yet crazy delicious Caprese Pesto Pasta is as good as it gets. The lemony pesto is a creamy blender pesto that is so easy to make. Pour that over pasta and toss with some sautéed cherry tomatoes and mozzarella and dinner is served. It’s the perfect Meatless Monday vegetarian supper recipe.

We’re delighted to have Kristen from The Endless Meal join us again with another unique pasta creation for us.  You can find her fabulous recipes here on Facebook and Instagram.  We love Kristen’s healthy super flavorful recipes!

All the stars have aligned, my friends! I am finally sharing my all-time favorite quick and easy pasta recipe. This should have happened years ago. I’m sorry for holding out on you.

This is one of those meals that hardly registers as a recipe in our house. It’s usually my handsome man who whips up the pesto while I put a pot of water on to boil and quickly sear the tomatoes. It’s what we eat when we’re HUNGRY and need to eat right this minute.

It’s also a meal we swoon over every time we eat it. Seriously, it’s so delicious.

Around here we simply call it pesto. For the sake of fancying things up a little, today I’m calling it Warm Caprese Pesto Pasta.

Watch the video! {1 min}

Have you tried Chickapea yet? It’s my absolute fav gluten-free pasta. It holds its shape well when cooked and the texture is perfect. It reminds me of whole wheat pasta, which I love.

It’s made with organic lentils and chickpeas (that’s it!) so it’s super healthy for you. Pairing it with a vegetarian or vegan sauce is perfect as Chickapea Pasta is packed full of protein.

We often eat their Penne and Spirals, but for this Caprese Pesto Pasta, I love to use their Shells. All the creamy pesto hides inside in the shells so you get lots of pesto. The more pesto the better!

It’s all about the pesto.

The pesto here is all my handsome man’s. I can’t take credit for it. Before we met, I made pesto quite differently. It was roughly chopped and had lots of texture to it. It was nothing like the brightly colored creamy pesto you see here.

Fast forward a few years and this is the only pesto recipe I now make. It’s simply too delicious to ever go back to my old recipe. It’s also ridiculously easy to make. Here’s how you do it:

→ Put everything in a blender and blend until smooth.

That’s it! I’m totally serious. One step and done.

You’ll notice a few things are different about this pesto recipe.

1. There’s parsley in here. And no, that’s not a typo. It helps make the pesto the vibrant green color you see. You can leave it out, but it won’t be quite as pretty.

2. We don’t use pine nuts. Or at least not always. Let’s be honest, pine nuts are ridic expensive. While I love them, I can’t always bring myself to use them. We’ve tried many different combinations of nuts and they all work great. We love using half almonds and half walnuts the best.

3. We toast the nuts. Always. It adds so much more flavor to the pesto.

4. There’s water in this recipe. This is because the pesto needs to blend freely to get totally smooth and become pourable. You could add more oil, but honestly, water works just as well.

What’s your favorite way to cook Chickapea Pasta?  Visit us and share on Instagram by tagging us @Chickapeapasta and #chickapeapasta so we can see what you’re up to in your kitchen!

5 from 1 vote
Warm Caprese Pesto Salad

This super simple yet crazy delicious Caprese Pesto Pasta is as good as it gets. The lemony pesto is a creamy blender pesto that is so easy to make. Pour that over pasta and toss with some sauteed cherry tomatoes and mozzarella and dinner is served. It’s the perfect Meatless Monday vegetarian supper recipe.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American Italian
Servings: 6
Author: Kristen Stevens | The Endless Meal
Ingredients
  • 16 ounces Chickapea Pasta shells (2 boxes)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes
  • 1 mozzarella ball, torn into pieces
  • grated parmesan cheese to garnish
  • LEMONY PESTO
  • 1 cup basil leaves, packed
  • 1/2 cup toasted nuts (see notes)
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • juice of two lemons
Instructions
  1. Put a large pot of salted water on to boil. When it comes to a boil, add the Chickapea Pasta shells, stirring as you pour them into the pot. Cook the pasta for 7-9 minutes then drain and set aside.

  2. While the water is heating, prepare the pesto. Place all the pesto ingredients into your blender and blend on high until smooth.

  3. Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the cherry tomatoes and quickly toss to coat them in the oil. Let them cook undisturbed for 2 minutes then shake the pan and cook them for 2 minutes more. Remove the pan from the heat.

  4. Add the cooked pasta, the pesto, and the mozzarella to the pan and stir together. Serve the Warm Caprese Pesto Pasta topped with a little freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Recipe Notes

While pine nuts are classic in pesto, other nuts work great. We like a combination of almonds and walnuts the best. Pecans and cashews work great, too. To toast the nuts, place them on a baking sheet in the oven at 350 degrees for 6-7 minutes, or until they are fragrant.