Tag Archives: pasta

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

Summer Shrimp Pasta

More food!  I haven’t posted this many recipes in ages.  But like I said last week, I have been cooking a lot because we have had a plethora of summer veggies at our fingertips.  This dish was an easy, impulsive way to use some fresh Hopkins Farms cherry tomatoes, homegrown basil, and fresh gulf shrimp from our local Dixie Dandy.  It was light and full of flavor and a real winner in my book because it took approximately 15 minutes from start to finish.


Since it was something I just threw together, I hadn’t planned on taking any pictures, so all I’ve got are pictures of the finished product.  Rest easy though – I promise, it’s a piece of cake.  Just please excuse my imprecise measurements, and take that as creative license to alter them however you’d like.


Summer Shrimp Pasta Recipe
serves 4


– half a box angel hair pasta
– 1 pint fresh cherry tomatoes
– 1/2 cup olive oil
– 1 pound fresh gulf shrimp, peeled
– 1 glass dry white wine – maybe 1/4 to 1/2 cup? (plus another for you to drink)
– 1 small jar capers and their juice
– salt and pepper, to taste
– 1 large bunch fresh basil


Heat a large cast iron skillet to medium heat and put cherry tomatoes in (without any oil).  Allow them to cook, stirring occasionally, until they start to char a bit and burst.  In the meantime, cook pasta according to package directions.

At that point, turn the skillet down a bit and add the oil, white wine, and shrimp.  This part may get dicey.  Stir often and allow shrimp to cook through.  Add the cooked and drained noodles to the skillet, along with the entire jar of capers and their juice.  Toss and transfer to a serving bowl.  Toss with salt and pepper and fresh basil and serve immediately.


The entire process should take no more than 15 minutes from start to finish, making it the perfect meal, in my opinion.  You could add some spinach or something to make it even more complete, but this is just a perfect summer dish to me.  And a lesson in why you should always keep a jar of capers in the fridge.


Bon appétit!

Shop this post:
farm style table (Southern Restoration Furniture)
wooden salad bowl (antique – similar)
local seafood market (Dixie Dandy)

You may also enjoy:
Southern Maker: Southern Restoration Furniture by Marc Ventry
Hopkins Farms CSA
Pesto Pasta
Pasta Carbonara
Creme Fraiche Pasta
Pumpkin and Sage Sausage Pasta

Until Next Time

Macaroni Salad Recipe

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As promised yesterday, here’s the macaroni salad recipe that I made to take to the camping trip last weekend.

It’s a jazzed up and significantly more colorful version of the delicious macaroni salad recipe passed down to me from my famous Aunt Lori.  And it’s definitely still delicious.

Macaroni Salad Ingredients | Oysters & Pearls

Macaroni Salad Recipe
serves a large crowd as a side


– 1 box elbow macaroni, cooked according to package directions
– 1 6 to 8 ounce jar mushrooms (or two 4-oz jars)
– 3/4 cup Duke’s Mayo
– 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
– 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
– 1 cup chopped celery
– 1 small red onion, chopped
– 1 bunch green onions, chopped
– salt and pepper to taste


Boil macaroni according to package directions.  Mix with remaining ingredients.  Chill.

*And put salad in the fridge.

Southern Macaroni Salad Recipe  | Oysters & Pearls

The instructions are verbatim from my aunt’s handwritten recipe.  I love it.

This is a tasty addition to all BBQs, potlucks, etc. and is super easy and oh so Southern.  I love making it a little more colorful, but if you’re sticking to my aunt’s version, use a Vidalia onion, regular yellow mustard, and omit the green onions.  Or add/subtract whatever you want!  It’s your salad, after all.

Macaroni Salad Recipe  | Oysters & Pearls


Until Next Time