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Pesto Tortellini with Tomatoes

This quick and easy dish is a perfect summer meal for two. It can make an elegant and romantic dinner served with wine, or a simple lunch dish to be enjoyed on your back patio. Basil is actually really easy to grow yourself but if you don't have a green thumb look for bunches in your grocery store with bright, firm leaves. Freshly grated Parmesan cheese melts right into this pesto and balances perfectly with the basil and garlic. The pesto goes beautifully with cheese or meat-filled tortellini, so you choose whatever you like best. And why stop there? You can use this pesto with any pasta, whether it be cavatelli, penne or linguini. Or even dollop it on fish or stir a few tablespoons through boiled baby potatoes for a delicious side dish.

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Pesto

Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

2 cups firmly packed fresh basil

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

1. Put the basil, garlic and 1/4 cup of olive oil in a food processor and finely chop. Remove from food processor and put it into a medium-sized bowl.

2. Add remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil and the Parmesan cheese. Mix until fully combined.

Tortellini and Tomatoes

Ingredients

1 13-ounce bag of tortellini

6 cherry tomatoes

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

1. Prepare tortellini according to instructions on package.

2. Quarter each tomato and lightly sauté in the olive oil.

3. When tortellini are fully cooked, drain in a colander and return back to the pot. Stir in pesto and tomatoes.

4. Serve warm; top with Parmesan cheese if desired.

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