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Garlic and Parsley Pesto Orrechiette with Grilled Tomatoes

I saw these cute pasta shells in the supermarket one day and absolutely fell in love with them. I think they are the cutest of all the other pastas out there.  So I bought them home and tried them out.  I wasn’t disappointed.  

I love the way they hold sauce in their little cups.  How cute.  The taste is just divine. I mean, the sauce just fills every little cup so you get a perfect bite all at once. Magnificent.  

I was hooked and decided to try it out with pesto.  I mentioned before how much I love pesto, so I had to try it out with my new-found love.  Again, I was not disappointed.  The pesto filled the cups so nicely and covered each little ear, it was a marriage made in taste heaven. After doing a little bit of research I found that orecchiette, in Italian, actually means “little ears”.  The shape of the orecchiette pasta is specifically designed to hold sauces, pesto and small vegetables in its cup-like shape so you get the perfect bite every time.  How awesome is that!

To make this dish, lets start by preheating the oven to 400°.  You will also want to prepare your grill for roasting the tomatoes in the final step.

Prepare and boil pasta according to package directions.  You may want to stir the pasta while it’s cooking to prevent sticking.  Once the pasta is al dente, remove from heat, strain and set aside.

I’m using the quick method of roasting garlic.  You can certainly use the other method of roasting the entire head, it just takes a bit longer.  Here is an awesome link I found that beautifully illustrates the roasting of a whole head of garlic.

I love garlic, it has such great health benefits and when  roasted it just fills the kitchen with this fragrant, mouth-watering, irresistible aroma.

Anywhoo,  if you choose the quick method, remove the cloves from a whole head of garlic, usually 11 to 12 cloves.  If you are not really a fan of so much garlic then feel free to use less.  

Coat the cloves with a bit of avocado oil and place on a baking sheet and roast for 10 to 15 mins or until soft (oven temps may vary).

Once the garlic has roasted and cooled, remove from skins and place in the food processor. 

Place the parsley, lime juice, salt and pepper in the food processor.  Reserve 1 tbsp of avocado oil to drizzle in while blending.

Start processing.  As the processor is running, drizzle in the avocado oil and process until smooth. Stop occasionally to scrape down the sides as needed.

When pesto is smooth and creamy, place in a bowl and drizzle with remaining avocado oil and set aside.

Next, add the pesto to the cooked pasta and toss well to coat.  You will notice that the pesto fills the little ears so nicely making each bite a tasty and delicious one.

As a final step, take your thickly sliced tomatoes and rub with a little oil and sprinkle each side with a no salt organic seasoning.

Place on the heated grill and grill each side to get those beautiful grill marks.  Remove and serve alongside the pesto orrechiette pasta.

This meal is simple, yet so full of flavor and texture.  The roasted garlic lends an amazing creamy flavor to the dish and the grilled tomatoes ties the dish together nicely with a touch of summer, color and flavor.  Enjoy!!

Have you tried orrechiette pasta?  What are some of your favorite ways to enjoy it?


Garlic and Parsley Pesto Orrechiette with Grilled Tomatoes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dinner
For pasta:
  • 3 cups Orrechiette pasta
  • Water
for the pesto:
  • 1 whole head of Garlic - roasted
  • 2 large handfuls of Parsley
  • 2 tbsp Avocado oil
  • 1 Lime- squeezed or 2 tbsp lime juice
  • Salt & pepper- to taste
Roasted tomatoes:
  • Indoor/ outdoor or stove top grill
  • 4 large Tomatoes- thick slices
  • A bit of avocado oil for brushing
  • No salt organic seasoning
For pasta:
  1. Boil pasta according to package directions
  2. Stir the pasta while cooking to prevent sticking
  3. Remove from heat when pasta is al dente
  4. Strain and set aside
For pesto:
  1. Place all the listed ingredients in a food processor
  2. Reserve 1 tbsp of avocado oil to drizzle in while blending
  3. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed
  4. When pesto is smooth and creamy, place in a bowl and drizzle with remaining avocado oil.
Grilled Tomatoes:
  1. Prepare grill
  2. Slice tomatoes in thick slices
  3. Rub with oil and no salt seasoning
  4. Place on grill
  5. Grill each side to get grill marks
  6. Remove and serve



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