Basil Pesto Pasta with Bocconcini and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
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Cook time: 
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Serves: 4 servings
  • Penne pasta – 250 gms
  • Cherry/grape tomato – 200 gms
  • Bocconcini – 6 to 8 or more as per taste
  • Olive oil – 5 tbsp
  • Garlic – 6 to 8 cloves, minced
  • Basil pesto – 1 cup
  • Parmesan cheese – ½ cup, grated
  • Gruyere cheese – ¼ cup, grated
  • Italian seasoning – 2 tsp
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Boil the penne pasta in heavily salted boiling water until al-dente as per packet instructions. Reserve about a cup of pasta boiling water, drain the pasta and set it aside.
  2. Make basil pesto with fresh basil leaves following the instructions here.
  3. Cut each cherry tomato into half lengthwise.
  4. Heat a griddle/frying pan and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the cherry tomatoes cut side down and cook without disturbing them for couple of minutes on medium flame. The cut side will turn a little charred.
  5. Stir and cook the tomatoes until they turn little soft but not completely mushy. This would take about 3 to 4 minutes on medium flame. Take them out on a plate and sprinkle some salt on top. Set them aside.
  6. Heat a large pan with high sides and add 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Once the oil is warm, add the minced garlic and sauté on medium flame until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  7. Now add the basil pesto and cook it for couple of minutes. Next add the boiled penne pasta and stir them to mix well with the pesto.
  8. While stirring the pasta, if it seems too dry, drizzle some of the reserved pasta water to loosen things up. But do not add too much water as it would make it watery.
  9. Add Italian seasoning, salt & pepper to taste. Mix well.
  10. Now add sautéed cherry tomatoes, bocconcini, grated gruyere cheese and half of the grated parmesan. Lightly stir them, then cover and simmer on low flame until the cheese is melted. This would take about 6 to 8 minutes.
  11. Uncover and give one final stir. The cheese should have melted by now and the excess water should have been absorbed.
  12. Transfer the pasta to a serving platter and sprinkle the remaining grated parmesan cheese on top. Scatter few fresh basil leaves and for added flavor, drizzle some more extra virgin olive oil on top. Serve your basil pesto pasta warm along with your favorite wine and enjoy!
Recipe by Flavor Quotient at