Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Smoky Almond Pesto

I'm really not even sure where to begin with this recipe.  I had a bunch of basil that needed to be used before it went bad, and my first thought was pesto.  I hadn't made pesto in a while and my girls usually eat it pretty well.  So, when I came across this recipe I knew I had to give it a try, and lucky for me I had all of the ingredients in my kitchen :)  I love when the stars align and that just works out.  

The smells that came from my food processor while making this pesto were really amazing!  I knew it would be a big hit with the family.  We simply tossed it with some cooked pasta, topped with cheese (the girls chose fresh Parmesan and I chose feta) and some oven roasted grape tomatoes.  Absolutely delicious!  My kids were a bit hesitant at first, but after one bite, each one ate 3 servings.  Everyone loved it.

Smoky Almond Pesto
1 lb pasta, any shape
1 clove garlic
1/3 cup Smokehouse Almonds
1 small bunch of basil leaves (about 2 cups) washed, and dried
6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Bring a large post of lightly salted water to a boil.  Add the pasta and stir a few times to ensure that the pasta does not stick to itself.  Boil vigorously for the time recommended on the pasta package or until the pasta is tender.
While the pasta cooks, finely chope the garlic, almonds, and basil with a knife or in a food processor or blender.  Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl and stir in the oil, cheese, salt and pepper.
Drain the pasta and toss it in the bowl with the pesto.

Makes 4 servings

Oven roasted grape tomatoes
1 medium clamshell of grape tomatoes, washed and dried
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried basil
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Toss tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, basil, salt and pepper in a 9x13 pan.  Bake for 25-30 min.  Tomatoes will burst and slightly darken.  Top your pasta with tomatoes and enjoy.

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