Thursday, October 16, 2008

Pasta with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto and Spinach.

Break out your party hats kids, it's my 100th post! Sadly it has taken me almost a year & a half to get this far. Sometimes life just gets in the way of cooking and blogging, not to mention sometimes we eat Chef Boyardee and that's just not blog worthy! The previous statement is a lie, I eat without shame Chef Boyardee - the husband refuses to touch the stuff. His loss in my opinion!

So to continue with this weeks love affair with the sun dried tomato, I tried my hand at a pasta dish. I knew I wanted to make a pesto out of the tomatoes, but my biggest decision of the week came down to should the pesto combine spinach and the tomatoes, or just tomatoes on their own. In the end I decided on just a tomato pesto, mainly because I wasn't sure the spinach would look good as part of the pesto sauce. Oh the places my thoughts take me........

I tried this time to measure things out as I went so it would be easier for others to make on their own. Some measurements are the way the way they are simply because that's all I had on hand. Luckily, pasta and pesto are very forgiving so add more or less of any ingredient as you see fit!

I haven't sent anything into Ruth's Presto Pasta Night for awhile now, so I'll send this recipe. This week's round-up is hosted by Judith of Think on It. Um... yeah, a pasta event hosted by a real Italian who lives Italy - talk about some pressure! Check in tomorrow for all the wonderful dishes sure to be submitted!

Pasta with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto and Spinach

1 lb. pasta of your choice (short shaped pasta tends to hold pesto better)
13 sun dried tomatoes
Olive oil
Kosher salt& pepper
1/4 c. pine nuts, toasted
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 c. fresh basil, packed
Fresh spinach, several hand fulls, probably 6 c. worth
Parmesan cheese

1. To toast pine nuts, place in a 325 degree oven for about 3 minutes, or until they begin to change color. Remove nuts from the oven and let them cool to room temperature.

2. Boil water in a large pot & cook pasta, according to the package directions. Drain pasta and reserve about a cup of pasta water.

3. To make the pesto, in a food processor combine sun dried tomatoes, olive oil, garlic and salt until finely chopped. With the food processor running, slowly add more oil - add as much oil as needed to make the mixture smooth, basil, Parmesan cheese and the pine nuts. Process the mixture until smooth, scraping the sides as necessary. Add pepper to taste.

4. While pasta is draining add spinach to the pot and allow to begin cooking down. Return drained pasta to the pot and stir pasta and spinach together. Add pesto to the spinach and pasta; toss well. If the mixture seems to dry add some of the reserved pasta water.

5. Transfer pasta to a serving dish and serve.

Yield: 4-6 servings

Recipe obtained from: me.

* I hate that it gets so dark so early now. Clearly I need to figure out some new lighting in my kitchen based on the quality of the above picture. What kind of light bulbs/lighting do you have in your kitchen?

*Photo disclaimer* The cat at the top of the page, wearing his wonderful party hat is not one of our cats. Sadly, no such pictures exist of our cats wearing hats and in fact bad things happen when we attempt to make them wear hats. The beautiful cat pictured is Calvin and the photo was taken on his first birthday!


That Girl said...

Happy 100th!

Judith in Umbria said...

Hey, nice pesto!

My most important kitchen lighting is the halogen under cabinet lights. Every year older you get requires more and more lighting just to see. If you also want not to cut your fingers off, it requires really specific and strong lighting at a certain age. That would be over 29.

Ruth Daniels said...

Happy 100th! And thanks for sharing a great dish with Presto Pasta Nights. Keep them coming.

Foodycat said...

Happy 100th post! Lovely pasta too.