For the pesto:
- 1 cup of spinach, tightly packed
- 1 1/2 cups of basil, tightly packed
- 1/2 cups of pine nuts
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 cup of olive oil
- 1/2 cup of parmesan or pecorino cheese (I used a mixture of the 2)
- salt and pepper to taste
For the Pesto Baked Ziti:
- 1 pound of ziti pasta
- 1 large yellow squash, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1/2 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
- 4-6 ounces of provolone cheese slices
- 4-6 ounces of shredded mozzarella cheese
- all of the pesto
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a large casserole dish.
Cook the ziti pasta according to package directions.
Make the pesto by combining all of the pesto ingredients in a food processor and process until the nuts are almost completely broken down. About 1 minute. See photo above for reference on texture.
Once the pasta is done, drain and return to pan. Add in the pesto, cherry tomatoes, and squash and stir to combine.
Transfer HALF of the pesto pasta to a large casserole dish. Top the pasta with the provolone cheese. Pour in the remaining pasta and then top it all off with the shredded mozzarella cheese.
Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the cheese just begins to brown on the top.
Serve immediately and ENJOY!!