Pesto Pasta and Tomato for One

Pesto Pasta for One

Brent is in Miami this week for work, which means I am left here all alone with my pots, pans and TV remote. Now…Now, my life isn’t really that simple. I have other things to fill my free time besides cook and watch TV. I can’t remember what any of those things are right now, but I will let you know when they come to me. Typically I hate cooking for one and it’s equally harder to test full portioned recipes for this blog when I’m dining alone. I can’t stand watching excess food sit in plastic storage containers in the freezer.

My friend Deb suggested I share some “cooking for one” ideas on the blog because there are many single mothers out there that have small children with little appetites. That means she is essentially eating for one herself. “Brilliant,” I say. You don’t need to be a Food Network watching boy, like me, to enjoy the comforts of a single portioned meal. You just need to be someone who likes food that’s easy to make and with good flavor.

This recipe is a super dinner and only requires cooking the pasta. I like to use whole wheat penne pasta because it seems heartier and holds the pesto very well. Don’t be afraid about using a good jarred pesto either. It can be found it in the same section as pasta sauces. Also, the toasted pine nuts aren’t really required but I found they add a wonderful crunch and nutty flavor to the dish.

Pesto Pasta and Tomato for One
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time
Recipe Type: Entree
Serves: 1 person
  • 1 cup whole wheat penne pasta, uncooked
  • 2/3 cup fresh cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup pesto sauce, jarred or homemade
  • 3 Tbl. pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 Tbl. parmesan cheese, shredded
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Boil the pasta to desired tenderness in salted boiling water. Drain, pour the pasta back in the cooking pot and remove from the heat. DO NOT rinse the pasta in cold water. Gently stir in the pesto and tomatoes until evenly coated. Serve on your favorite plate, and top with the parmesan cheese and pine nuts.
Author's Note
It is important to bring your pesto and tomatoes to room temperature before cooking the pasta. The heat from the hot pasta “cooks” the tomatoes and helps bring out the natural flavors and juices.


  1. says

    That’s a really great dish for one! I made pasta for myself the other night too. I wound up using some jarred tomato sauce with fresh tomatoes and sauteed mushrooms added in. Yours looks better!

  2. Brent says

    Well .. it seems my absence has done some culinary good! Haha Maybe I’ll have to make this for myself when Cory is out on a trip. It looks so delicious.

  3. says

    I cook for one all the time. I usually make enough for leftovers, but I definitely think that even though it’s just me, I still deserve to have a good meal :)

  4. Miss Mary says

    GREAT photo Cory!
    No to the sunflower seeds – pine nuts have such a subtle lemon tinge to them it’s the PERFECT nut for this dish.
    Thanks for sharing – John’s out next week so I’ll be eating the leftover shit that hangs out in the freezer in the plastic containers. HA!

  5. says

    Olives sounds great too! Wow! I love the suggestions for this dish, it seems like it could be easily adapted to ones taste, or to just switch it up to satisfy a particular craving.

  6. says

    oh the perfection…I am always whining about cooking for one. It seems like a whole lot of effort for not much in the results department.

    This sounds like something I gotta try.

  7. says

    This looks great! I cook for one all the time, and this is definitely something that could be easily made and even taken to work as leftovers.

    I’d also add some olives and maybe fresh parsley or basil.

  8. says

    Thanks for the comment. Pine nuts are edible seeds from pine trees. The Italians call them pinoli and is a main ingredient for making pesto. Using sunflower seeds might be a good option. I would also suggest toasted pumpkin seeds, to give the pasta a crunch.

  9. says

    This recipe sounds really, really good! I have never heard of pine nuts and would love to try them sometime. I have to wonder if sunflower seeds would be a tasty substitute for pine nuts as well?


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