Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Sun Dried Tomato & Basil Pesto


We love Pesto! 
"But wait Jenny & Aaron," you might say "you guys already shared your favorite pesto recipes with us." Well, I'm here to say "Yup" and "Nope"
Yeah sure, we've blogged a couple ways to do pesto, but there are never enough pesto recipes. There is no be-all-end-all pesto. For us, one of the most attractive aspects of pesto is its adjustability. We've done Kale pesto, Spinach pesto, Pea pesto...The formula is flexible. With some creativity, you can really play around and more often than not you'll end up with deelish results.
So that's reason enough to love pesto. But then there's also the other draw: it is so darn EASY. It could be the most hectic, downright cuckoo day...you're running mad, working on 4 different projects, your stomach is growling, it's nearly 6pm and you haven't eaten since you can't even remember when. At this point you could make a quick sandwich or put some stuff in a wrap...or nearly as easily you could whip up this incredibly delicious gourmet meal. And it's not just a meal to make in a hurry...the outcome of this recipe tastes good enough to be the centerpiece of an evening meal with friends...perfect for a dinner party. So, this meal can equally be a special occasion favorite...or that go-to dish you can throw together on "one of those days." Seriously!  




We always have fresh basil in the fridge. It's worth it! It's really cheap at our market and just having it in the fridge will influence our weekly menu. You'll catch the scent for a brief moment and you'll say "what can we make using basil tonight?" So it's one of our staples. Also on our list of staples are nuts...we get big bags of 'em at Costco. And we always keep in some good quality grated parmesan and olive oil. With those few staples in the house we're just a couple steps away from having a deelish pesto. You can then add a variety of good stuff, making sure to keep an eye on your ratios, and the pesto possibilities are endless.

This particular pesto is one of our all time favorites. The star of the show here is Sun Dried Tomatoes!  Such a wonderful flavor, and so many ways for it to go. Do yourself a favor and just go buy a jar. They range in price from about 4.00 to 12.00 for imported. They keep for a while in the fridge and seriously, just tossing one or two into a dish takes it to the next level. For some reason it seems like sun dried tomatoes are like this special ingredient, reserved for special dinners. Well we need to dispel that notion. These should be an everyday option...spoil yourself a little...don't you think you deserve it? Sure you do!  :)

Here is what you will need:

8 oz of your favorite pasta (we love Garofalo whole wheat fusilli)
1 cup fresh basil leaves
5 Sun Dried Tomatoes packed in oil
1/4 cup Walnuts (or pignoli/pine nuts)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
3 teaspoons garlic chopped
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1/4 tsp pepper
dash salt


*If you are making this ahead of time or have extra, this pesto will keep in the fridge about a week.



After measuring out all of your ingredients, add your basil and walnuts to your food processor, pulse for a few seconds, then add your sun dried tomatoes, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, pepper, salt, cheese and half of your olive oil. Pulse till smooth. Add the rest of your olive oil as needed till you reach your desired consistency.



 We wanted our pesto smooth, but you can stop the food processor before reaching this smooth consistency. You might like it to be a bit more chunky in your pasta or if you're using it as a spread, the thicker the better. 


Now toss with your pasta, and plate! Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, and some basil!


We hope that you will give this favorite of ours a try, and we'd love to hear your favorite pesto recipe. What do you add to make it your own? 

We weren't exaggerating in the least about this being a hectic day meal. Just this past weekend we were working on our deck in the sweltering sun all day and we were nearly too exhausted to even think about dinner. Seriously, Aaron opens the fridge, catches a glimpse of the basil, turns around to see the fusilli in the cabinet, and says "pesto time." He put a pot on to boil, we threw the stuff in the food processor, and were eating this amazing meal 15 minutes later!   

Happy Cooking!
xo Jenny & Aaron


4 comments:

  1. I loooove pesto rosso. In fact I just had it for dinner yesterday. I like to add a splash of balsamic vinegar or balsamic creme to it. So good.
    Or sometimes when I have some ricotta cheese left in my fridge, I add a couple tablespoons to the mix.

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    Replies
    1. Wow, yes...ricotta is a great addition. That's another staple we always keep in the fridge. Really, if you've got basil, tomatoes, and some cheeses, you're set.

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  2. Replies
    1. Yeah, it's reallly good Julie! If you make it...you'll make it many times! Thanks so much!

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