So, what do you do when your basil plant is starting to droop, you have an open packet of turkey breast in your fridge, and you want pasta really, really badly? Simple. You make pesto, throw in the turkey breast and some cavatappi, and call it Christmas pasta. Make it green and red, and no one can dispute how festive it is! That’s called spin, and I like it. It’s gotten me out of many sticky situations (“But mom, I was only sledding down the stairs so I could calculate the velocity!”) and gotten me many things (“You see, I need this new lipstick because in today’s hyper-consumerist and fast moving society, the investment you put into every new product will pay off in terms of social standing and opportunities!”). It also got me this pasta, which I now bequeath to you. Make it. Use too much mozzarella. Call it festive. Fight the first person who disputes it. Tell the police it was just holiday spirit getting the best of you.
1 ½ cups basil leaves
5 cloves garlic
2 oz parmesan cheese
½ cup walnuts
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups cavatappi (or any other short pasta, really!)
4 oz deli turkey breast
4 oz mozzarella
7 cherry tomatoes
Start by boiling the pasta, and making the pesto. Making pesto is so simple, and tastes a lot better than the stuff you get in jars at the store. That said, I have actually eaten pesto from a jar with a spoon. And you know something? I’m not ashamed, either. Just throw the basil, walnuts, parmesan, and garlic into a food processor, add in the olive oil, and pulse it up.
Add salt and pepper to taste, and throw in the sugar.
With all the raw garlic, you need this sugar. I learned my lesson about that a long time ago. The year was 2009. The me was but a munchkin. The sister was there. The pesto was being made, by the sister. I was the taste tester. I was so sweet and unsuspecting. I tried pesto loaded with raw garlic and no sugar. I can still feel the garlic burning at the back of my throat. I remind my sister about this every time I make pesto.
Now that the pesto’s ready, throw the tomatoes in a pan, add some olive oil, salt, and pepper, turn the heat to medium, and cover them. They’ll add a great texture and some nice tartness.
Shred the ham, throw it into a big pot,
and then pour the pesto over it. Saute it briefly,
and then throw in the cooked, drained pasta.
Also crumble up the mozzarella.
Stir it around just long enough for the mozzarella to start to melt- it’s okay to have a few gooey pieces, but for the most parts it should be long strings wrapping all around the pasta.
Serve it with a few tomatoes on top, and don’t let anyone tell you this isn’t Christmas pasta.