Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Sundried Tomato & Artichoke Pesto
Sometimes I eat things that remind me how amazing food can be.
Heidi Swanson, in all her glory, recently posted a ravioli dish with sundried tomatoes that really put me in the mood to use up the ones I had leftover from my Sweet Potato Gnocchi. Yesterday at Sister's house I had one of her skewers - artichoke heart, a sundried tomato, an olive, and fresh mozzarella. So good! They were the other half of what inspired this pasta dish. I love making pasta dishes where there's more "other" than pasta. Here the fresh and dried tomatoes, artichokes, and basil easily outnumber the pasta... not only is it better for you but a whole heck of a lot more flavorful than a bowl full of boring pasta!
This came together really quickly. Boiling the water and cooking the pasta is definitely the longest step. The artichoke and sundried tomato pesto perfectly balanced the fresh cherry tomatoes and spicy basil I picked up at the Harvard Square Farmers' Market. I am currently eating the leftover pesto as a dip. It's like spinach artichoke dip but more flavorful and without all that cream cheese. Yum yum!
For the Artichoke & Sundried Tomato Pesto
1 can artichoke hearts, packed in water
1/3 cup sundried tomatoes, rehydrated or packed in oil
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup pine nuts
Splash olive oil
Salt & Pepper
For the rest of the pasta...
2 pints assorted cherry tomatoes
Lots of fresh basil
1 box pasta (whole wheat, quinoa, or brown rice)
1. Boil a pot of water. Salt heavily and cook the pasta to al dente.
2. While the pasta is cooking, toast the pine nuts until golden.
3. In the food processor blend the pine nuts, sundried tomatoes, artichokes, garlic, a glug of olive oil, salt and pepper until the mixture comes together.
4. Reserve some pasta water to thin-out the pesto. Drain the pasta and toss with LOTS of fresh basil, the pesto, and reserved pasta water as needed.
5. Top each serving of pasta with LOTS of cherry tomatoes and more fresh basil.