Friday, October 23, 2009

Linguine with Fresh Pesto and Tomatoes

The summer garden is winding its way down.  The tomatoes will soon be gone; and my basil is near the end.  I know I will miss the tomatoes once they are gone, but for right now, I’m ready to be done with the tomatoes.  Perhaps next year I won’t plant quite as many plants (I say that every year, and then I get all excited come spring and start buying all kinds of new varieties, plus all my favs and end up with 20 + tomato plants).  And anyway, during the winter months, I do so enjoying going into my freezer and getting out a container of homemade tomato sauce or marinara.  So, more than likely, I will be once again looking forward to the beginning and the end of tomato season.  But for now, I’m going to enjoy the last of my crop with this great simple dish -

Linguine with Fresh Pesto and Tomatoes…

  • 3 quarts water
  • 12 ounces linguine
  • 1/2 cup Basil Pesto (recipe follows)
  • 2 cups seeded and diced fresh tomatoes, preferably a mix of Heirloom tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Basil Pesto
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • 3 large cloves garlic
  • 2 2/3 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  1. Make the Basil Pesto – Drop the pine nuts and garlic through the food chute of a food processor with the motor running; process until minced, stopping to scape the sides of the bowl as necessary. Stop the machine; add basil, cheese and lemon juice; process until finely minced. With processor on, slowly pour the oil through the chute and process until well blended.
  2. Meanwhile; bring the water to a rolling boil. Add a large pinch of salt; cook pasta according to package directions. Drain well – reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
  3. Combine the pesto and pasta in a large bowl; toss well. Use the reserved pasta water to thin as necessary. Add the tomatoes, basil and feta. Toss gently to coat. Adjust seasonings; serve immediately.
This dish can be made in less than 30 minutes.  As you boil the water, make the pesto (if you need to buy pre-made pesto, buy the kind in the refrigerator section) and dice the tomatoes.  Then once the pasta is cooked, you just toss it all together.  Add a salad and it’s a great quick and easy dinner.
Remember – as long as you are making pesto anyway, you can always make extra.  Put it into ice cube trays in the freezer; once frozen pop the little cubes out and put them into a zip-top bag.  Anytime you need a little pesto, pop one out.  Pesto is great when added to a vegetable, bean, or minestrone soup. Just gives it a little pizzaz…

LindySez – Eat fresh and seasonal foods whenever you can.

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