Saturday, July 2, 2011

Tomato-Walnut Pesto

Pasta seems to be one of those go-to meals for busy nights.  It's so easy just to boil a pound of spaghetti and crack open a jar of sauce (or if you're fancy, thaw some frozen homemade sauce) and have dinner.   And sometimes that's just the thing.  We don't have it that often, but I love pasta- it doesn't matter what kind of noodle it is or what's on top, pasta is pasta is pasta.  Best prepared and eaten with family :)  I've made this pesto before, and it is a definite keeper- quick, simple, and healthy. 

I made it for dinner last night, and we ate it with my aunt's garlic bread and a big green salad.  It made a nice night-before-the-big-memorial-service-day dinner, and it would make a great any-night-this-week dinner as well :)

Tomato-Walnut Pesto

slightly adapted from Healthy Cooking magazine

1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 cup boiling water
2 cups loosely packed basil leaves
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, peeled
1/3 cup reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
3 Tbsp olive oil

*A few quick notes: the original calls for chicken broth, but if you're cooking for a vegetarian, go ahead and sub in the veggie broth.  Also, the original doesn't want the tomatoes packed in oil, but those are the only ones I've found at the grocery store.  If you can't find them packed in water, simply reduce the olive oil to 2 or so tablespoons and then adjust as needed.  One of the things that makes this such a fabulous recipe is that it is unbelievable easy to tweak everywhere and still produce a delicious result.

Place tomatoes in a small bowl and add boiling water.  Let stand for 5 minutes.

Place basil, cheese, and garlic in a food processor; cover and pulse until chopped.  Add tomatoes with liquid, broth, walnuts, salt, and pepper.  Cover and process until blended.  While processing, gradually add olive oil in a steady stream.

Serve immediately over (fun) pasta!

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