Mini Shell Pasta with Fresh Basil & Walnut Pesto

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Everyone loves pasta and it does not matter which shape you prefer. Mixing pasta with fresh vegetables and sauces makes for a very delicious and nutritious meal every time. Fresh pesto is so simple, easy and quick to make and store. It is wonderful to have it handy to fix meals in a jiffy. Pasta and pesto make a perfect combination.

Classic pesto calls for pine nuts which is not very easily available in Pune. I had a big packet of walnuts and lots of fresh Basil which I used to make a large batch of pesto. I also buy a lot of pasta. I just go crazy over pasta when I shop at the super market. So when I thought of this recipe, I thought of using this refreshingly green pesto sauce with mini shell pasta. The pasta tasted so good in this pesto sauce. The texture and flavor was the way I wanted it to be.

This mini shell pasta with fresh basil and walnut pesto is a good option for a light dinner which you could consider if you are tired or are not in the mood to cook an elaborate meal. This is also a good idea for your lunch box. You can top this pasta with sundried tomatoes, bell peppers or mix in some chicken. The choice is unlimited! :D

Ingredients :

  • 200 gms. dried Mini Shell Pasta (Conchigliette)
  • Boiled & shredded Chicken as needed (optional)
  • Fresh Basil & Walnut Pesto as needed
  • 150 gms. grated Parmesan Cheese or Processed Cheddar
  • Knob of Butter
  • Olive Oil as needed
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Procedure :
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil.

Add the mini shells and cook as per packet instructions.

Drain the pasta al dente (firm to the bite) in a colander/sieve over a large bowl, reserving some of the cooking water.

Heat a frying pan over medium heat and add the knob of butter and about 4 tbsps. olive oil.

Add the fresh basil and walnut pesto sauce and dilute with a couple of tablespoons of reserved cooking water.

Add the chicken & drained shell pasta to the pan and gently mix to cover the pasta in the pesto sauce.

Adjust seasoning to taste.

Serve hot with grated Parmesan or Cheddar cheese in a large serving dish or individual bowls.

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