Monday, April 9, 2012

Pasta w/ Fresh Roma Tomato Pesto Sauce

This evening, I decided to try a new recipe that I saw on the Cooking Channel this weekend.  It looked fresh, simple and tasty.  It also would use up about half of the beautiful Roma tomatoes I picked up at Costco this weekend.  The sauce was made in the blender and did not require any cooking, except for the blanching of the tomatoes to make removing their skin easy.  The recipe called for penne pasta, but I decided to use organic whole wheat DeLallo shell pasta instead.

Both hubby and I liked it a lot -- it was very tasty.  I will say, however, that when I make it again, I will reduce the garlic a bit more.  Since this sauce is not cooked, the garlic remains raw.  The recipe called for 4 cloves of garlic and I thought that would be a bit much for raw garlic, so I reduced it to 3 cloves instead.  I do believe that I would either reduce the raw garlic to 2 cloves next time or use the full 4 cloves, but saute them in olive oil first for a few minutes to soften the flavor a bit and take the raw edge off the garlic.  It tasted absolutely fantastic, but it does leave you with somewhat of a garlicky taste in your mouth afterwards.  I've included a few pics below as well as the very simple recipe. 

The basic ingredients...the only item not in the photo is the parmesan cheese

Topped with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese & fresh basil
So beautiful & fresh

Pasta with Fresh Roma Tomato Pesto Sauce

6 large ripe Roma tomatoes
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, extra for serving
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, extra to drizzle when serving
4 cloves of garlic, smashed and peeled (I used 3 and would probably reduce to 2 cloves)
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 pound pasta of your choice
8 large fresh basil leaves, torn

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta.  Bring another medium pot of water to boil to blanch the Roma tomatoes to make easy to peel and remove skin.  Make an "X" on the bottom of each tomato with a paring knife.  Add tomatoes to boiling water a couple at a time for a minute or two; remove and plunge immediately into a bowl of ice water to stop cooking and cool enough to handle.  Repeat with the remaining tomatoes.  Remove the skin from the tomatoes and place in a blender along with the Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, olive oil and garlic.  Blend until smooth; season to taste with salt and pepper.  

After large pot of salted water has come to a boil, cook your pasta according to directions, being careful to keep it al dente.  Drain pasta and add to a large serving bowl.  Pour sauce over the pasta , stirring well.  Toss torn basil leaves with the pasta and serve with a drizzle of olive oil and additional fresh grated Parmesan cheese.  Enjoy!

***Due to the garlic in this sauce, it is probably not something you want to eat on a "first date" or prior to a job interview!  ;-)

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