Creamy Pesto Pasta

I don’t cook pasta very often, so it seems funny to me to post a two pasta dishes in a row.  I didn’t actually cook them two nights in a row…I think they were about two weeks apart.

We could smell the bushel of basil as soon as we got the vegetables home.  I love the aroma of basil and it was calling out to me all week.  “Make pesto,” it said.  When I saw some leftover heavy cream in the fridge, I knew what I had to do.  My very favorite restaurant dish from my childhood at Semolina’s Restaurant in New Orleans–creamy pesto bow ties.

Semolina’s was always a special treat and remember going most often with my high school friends.  We would fill up on soft French bread and garlic butter, but leave enough space to lick up the bowl of creamy pesto.  I don’t remember ever eating dessert there, we were always way too full.  So, sometimes when I want to head back to that place I like to mix my pesto with cream.


1 bunch fresh basil

2 cloves garlic

High quality extra virgin olive oil

Handful Parmesan cheese

8 oz mushrooms (sliced)

Heavy cream (I used about 3/4 cup, but you can use what you like; half + half would also work here)

Bow tie pasta

Fresh tomato


Step 1: Make the pesto, by pulsing the basil, garlic, olive oil, and Parmesan in food processor.  I dropped the cheese straight into the dish.

Step 2: While cooking the pasta, sautee mushrooms in butter.  After the mushrooms are soft, add the pesto and cream sauce to combine.

Step 3:  Drain pasta and coat with pesto cream sauce.  Incorporate fresh tomatoes.

Pasta, salad, and bread



TIPS FOR NEXT TIME: Fresh tomatoes are a great addition!  Semolina’s always had a tomato sauce, but the fresh tomatoes were a perfect compliment to the cream.  Remember to make garlic butter for the bread.

WHAT DID BABY THINK? She ate this up.  She especially loved the mushrooms and tomatoes.