Summer Pesto Pasta

Okay, so I have cooked just a wee little bit. This dish is a simple variation on our favorite summer pasta: PESTO.

Summer Pesto Pasta with Burst Tomatoes | Oysters & Pearls

I’ve posted the recipe for it before, but here it is again, for any newbies.  Simple, fresh pastas like this are my absolute favorite thing to cook in the summer.  Mainly because there aren’t any real measurements and I don’t have to think too much.

Light Summer Pesto Pasta Dish with Yellow Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes and Sweet Grass Dairy Cheese | Oysters & Pearls

Simple Summer Pesto Pasta with Grilled Chicken Recipe
serves 2 to 4


- half box of angel hair pasta, cooked according to package directions
- 2 to 3 chicken breasts, grilled and cut into bite-size pieces
- half a pint of cherry tomatoes

for the pesto
- 2 or 3 cups of fresh basil (any variety will do, but we prefer good ole sweet basil)
- 1/2 cup good olive oil
- a tablespoon or so (a hefty dash?) of good balsamic vinegar
- a tablespoon or so lemon juice
- 1/4 cup (ish) of pecans (can sub walnuts, pine nuts, almonds, etc.)
- 2 cloves (or more, or less) garlic, peeled
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup grated Sweet Grass Dairy Thomasville Tomme cheese (or parmesan, or any other salty hard cheese)


Cook pasta according to package directions.

Place all the ingredients for the pesto, except the cheese, into a food processor and pulse until just combined.  Set aside.

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat and place cherry tomatoes in it without any oil.  Allow to blister and pop, then remove.

Toss pasta, pesto, chicken, and burst tomatoes together.  Using a microplane, plane cheese over the top.  garnish with a sprig of fresh basil and serve immediately.

Summer Pesto Pasta with Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes and Thomasville Tomme Cheese | Oysters & PearlsI like to microplane the cheese over the top, rather than include it in the pesto, because when it’s microplaned is a) prettier, and b) melts really easily, and c) it’s curly and fun.  Plus, I find that the pesto has a better texture without it.  These little heirloom yellow cherry tomatoes are just divine.  Delicious, easy to grow, and so bright and colorful!  They add a whole ‘nother dimension to this pasta.

Fresh and Easy Pesto Pasta with Burst Heirloom Tomatoes and Sweet Grass Dairy Cheese | Oysters & Pearls

As you can tell, this type of pasta dish is my default dinner.  I always keep pasta in the pantry, we grow tons of basil every summer, and we keep hard cheeses in the fridge.  Add grilled chicken, shrimp, tomatoes, artichokes, whatever you can dream up/find in your kitchen.  I should rename this kitchen sink pesto pasta.

Until Next Time

Walks in the Woods

I haven’t been doing a lot of cooking lately.  There’s just so much going on!  When I mentioned yesterday that Jessica Grace and I have been building the inventory for Maiden South… I wasn’t joking.  But I’ll elaborate on that more later.  It should suffice to say that I’ve been even busier than normal lately.

On the other hand, I do have a break from the business on the horizon… Wheat and I spontaneously booked a trip to Yellowstone next month!  We are so, so excited.  To get ready for all our hiking (or at least, somewhat) and to simultaneously wear June the puppy out (or attempt to), we’ve been going to Wheat’s family’s farm for some long walks in the woods.  We had an especially exciting trip full of wildlife last week and I thought I’d share some iPhone photography.

New hiking boots.  New puppy.

Hiking with June | Oysters & PearlsTiger Swallowtails. Pair of Tiger Swallowtail Butterflies | Oysters & PearlsPassion Flower. Passion Flower | Oysters & PearlsWe saw lots of Leopard Frogs.  Only one stayed still long enough to have his photo taken.Leopard Frogs | Oysters & Pearls

Our walk ended abruptly when we walked up on a diamondback rattlesnake.  It was a brightly-colored beauty of a snake, but we grabbed June and slowly backed away rather than trying to take a picture for this post. ;)

Back at home, we ended our day with a really good salad topped with some delicious – and non-homemade – Zaxby’s chicken fingers.   Greens topped with homemade pickled red onions, pickled banana peppers, feta, avocado, bell peppers, sauteed lemon green beans, and heirloom yellow cherry tomatoes that we grew.  So easy, no cooking required, delicious, but still feels like it’s healthy (even though you’re still eating fried chicken).

Zaxby's Chicken Tenders on a Homemade Salad Mountain | Oysters & PearlsAND so as not to gloss over the fact that we are going on our first vacation since our honeymoon next month (!!!), what’s your favorite thing to do in or around Yellowstone?  Best day hikes?  Best place to eat in or just outside the park?  Any other tips for us?

Until Next Time

Maiden South Call for Vendor Applications

Maiden South Call for Vendor Applications | Oysters & Pearls

Jessica and I are building our inventory for Maiden South – quite literally and figuratively, actually.  Maiden South will have a rotating, curated selection of high-quality handcrafted goods, and we are going to constantly be on the hunt for items fitting that description… starting now!

Long-time blog readers will recognize many of the names already on our lineup: Southern Restoration Furniture, Heartwood Forge, Anhaica Bag Works, Julie Guyot, Paper Works Press, Black Swamp Co, and so much more.

If you or someone you know crafts something amazing that you think would be a great fit at Maiden South, we want to see it!  Visit Maiden South’s website for information on how to apply.

Until Next Time