Frantic. That is the word that comes to mind most evenings when I am trying to cook, feed the girls, bathe them, change them and put them to bed. I always think of things I would like to cook the night before, elaborate things, yummy looking things – things that would take more than 15 minutes, but when it is crunch time those dishes hardly ever make an appearance. Fortunately for me – and you – there are many yummy from scratch dishes out there that can come together pretty quick. The fact that I have made this particular one three times in the last week speaks for itself.
I like the ‘usual’ basil/parm/pinenuts pesto, but the price of pine nuts and the amount you usually need keeps me at bay. This sun dried tomato pesto with it’s more humble composition of pantry staples packs an even more delicious punch of flavour and is as versatile as it’s greener counterpart. Add it to your grilled cheese, smear it onto your chicken and bake, or just keep mixing it into your pasta over and over again like I do 🙂
The recipe for this pesto comes from the beautiful blog Simply Scratch. It is intended to feed two people and that makes it perfect for me and my girls (daddy is a desi food kinda guy). Because it makes such a small amount you are best off using a mini blender like the Magic Bullet. If you are to double it and make it ahead then I suggest using only 1 garlic clove not two as the raw garlic flavour tends to get stronger over time.
Sun Dried Tomato Pesto
¼ cup toasted walnuts
¼ cup sun dried tomatoes
¼ cup grated parmesan, plus extra for serving
4-5 large basil leaves
1 clove garlic roughly chopped
¼ cup olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice
¼ tsp black pepper
½ box of pasta
¼ – ½ cup reserved pasta water
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Heat a saucepan on medium heat and throw in your walnuts, shaking it every 30 seconds or so till they are evenly toasted.
Combine the pesto ingredients in a small food processor and process till thick and cohesive. Add more olive oil if it is not coming together. Cook pasta according to directions. When you’re almost there then stir fry the pesto in the same pan you used for the walnuts, stirring often so it doesn’t burn. Deglaze with some pasta water or liquid of choice (broth, white wine, etc). As soon as your pasta is al dente add it in to the saucepan and toss gently. Cook for another minute or so to allow the pasta to absorb the flavour. Serve topped with freshly grated Parmesan, a few torn basil leaves and some chopped walnuts if desired.