Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Pasta with Pesto and Tomatoes

Pesto is a flavorful, fragrant, intensely herby basil sauce that is a summer favorite in our house. Add pasta and tomatoes fresh from the garden and you have a wonderful summer meal.

I make large batches of pesto when my garden is overflowing with basil and freeze the extra to use throughout the year. It keeps wonderfully in the freezer for up to six months.

This recipe makes a double batch (enough pesto sauce for 2 pounds of pasta).

Pasta with Pesto and Tomatoes
adapted from Ina Garten

For the Pesto Sauce:
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup pignolis (pine nuts)
3 tablespoons diced garlic (9 cloves)
5 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cups good olive oil
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan

For serving:
1 pound pasta, any type
2 medium tomatoes, chopped

Place the walnuts, pignolis, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process for 30 seconds.

Add the basil leaves, salt, and pepper. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is finely pureed. Add the Parmesan and puree for a minute.

Meanwhile, boil the pasta in a large pot of salted water until cooked al dente. Combine the hot pasta with one cup of pesto sauce (cold or at room temperature) and the chopped tomato. Serve immediately.

Store any unused pesto sauce in the refrigerator or freezer with a thin film of olive oil on top.

Additional serving ideas:
Pasta, Pesto and Peas
Tuna Pesto Pasta
Chicken Pesto Pizza
Tomato, Mozzarella and Pesto Sandwich or Panini
Pasta with Pesto and Shrimp
Crostini with Pesto, topped with chopped tomatoes or goat cheese
Pesto mixed with mayonnaise as a sandwich spread or burger topping

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1 comment:

  1. A simple pesto pasta is one of my favourite mid-week meals.