Friday, June 19, 2009
Deconstructed Tomato Pesto
Okay, this is not a great photograph, as I made the pasta subsequent to returning from an eight-mile run and we were way too ravenous for a proper photo shoot, but this was a great pasta dish! It’s adapted from a recipe Jamie’s Italy by Jamie Oliver (Aka “The Naked Chef.” Does anyone else remember when that show was on the Food Network all the time? That and one called “Doorknock Dinners” were the first shows I remember watching on Food Network. Good times.). Anyway, the first time I made this, I basically just processed all the ingredients together to make kind of a tomato pesto. It was pretty good that way, but I felt the ingredients overpowered each other, so it was hard to taste the individual components, particularly the nuts. I think this version is closer to how it was meant to be, though I made it after I returned the book to the library, so I’m not sure! I also have no idea what it was originally called, so I’ll just call it Deconstructed Tomato Pesto. I do know that it was very easy and delicious, and I will definitely be making it again.
Deconstructed Tomato Pesto, adapted from a recipe in Jamie’s Italy
1 pound fettuccine
½ cup toasted pine nuts (or almonds, which is what the original recipe called for)
Leaves from one large bunch of basil
2 cloves garlic
½ cup grated parmesan-romano cheese
Olive oil (approximately 2-3 tablespoons)
3 medium tomatoes, stems removed
Salt and pepper, to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to the instructions on package or your preference.
Meanwhile, make the sauce. Pulse the pine nuts in food processor until coarsely ground, then set the ground nuts aside in a small bowl. Wipe out the food processor (you don’t need to be too fastidious, it will all be going the same place eventually) and process the basil, garlic, cheese, olive oil, and salt and pepper together until well blended. Scrape the basil mixture into a serving bowl. Rinse the food processor bowl again. Cut the tomatoes in quarters in pulse in food processor several times; you should still have some puree and also some good chunks of tomato.
When the pasta is cooked, drain it and transfer to the serving bowl containing the pesto. Mix the pasta with the pesto, add the tomatoes and mix. Toss the ground pine nuts over the pasta and serve.