May 13, 2012

recipe: sundried tomato & parsley pesto

I love cooking with fresh herbs, especially basil and cilantro. I hate how quickly my herbs go bad in the fridge.  When I grow up, I want to have an herb garden - or maybe two. One in my glass-walled reading room (because that will exist), and one outside.  Anyway, I had leftover tortellini from a soup I made last week, as well as some broccoli that was on sale, and some leftover basil. We always have 10% cream hanging around, so I figured I'd do a basil cream sauce. Alas, not to be. By the time I got around to making the pasta, my basil had gone bad. SO, now what?

I asked Facebook, and the winning suggestion was sundried tomato pesto.  I've never heard of this before.  I decided to use up some of my parsley as well, and I added walnuts and sunflower seeds to fill the pine nut role.  However, I forgot a very important lesson from kindergarten: red + green = brown. Especially when you add balsamic vinegar, walnuts, and sunflower seeds.  It's definitely the ugliest pesto I've ever seen.

However, it's really tasty so I'm posting anyway.  The recipe only made enough pesto for 3 meals (whereas the tortellini package serves 4), so keep that in mind.

Sundried Tomato & Parsley Pesto
Ease: 1 very easy
Time: 1 very quick
Ingredients: 2 easy
Source: My facebook friends and some crazy imagination!

  • One package of cheese tortellini
  • 1 head of broccoli, cut into florets
  • 3 Tbsp sundried tomatoes (I used the kind in oil)
  • 1-2 medium cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 cup walnuts (or less)
  • 1.5 Tbsp sunflower seeds (or less)
  • 1 cup curly leaf parsley
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil (note: my pesto was more of a paste, so more oil could be useful)
  • Parmesan cheese

  1. Cook tortellini and broccoli together in same pot. Drain and set aside. 
  2. Meanwhile, make the pesto.  Combine remaining ingredients except Parmesan cheese in a food processor for a few seconds until everything is a bit chopped and pasty.  I didn't want to blend it too much or it would have been a uniform brown paste.  At least this way I can see chunks of green and red. 
  3. Mix pasta/broccoli with pesto and serve!
  4. Top with Parmesan cheese. I only used a tiny sprinkle - it didn't need the extra flavour.

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