September 14, 2011

Sundried Tomato and Cherry Tomato Pesto - Another Great Recipe, Perfect for Summer!

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It's pesto week here on Herbie Likes Spaghetti. We're following up Monday's Kale and Edamame Pesto creation with this delicious pesto of two types of tomatoes, and we'll have an extra special pesto for you on Friday. Pesto, pesto, pesto!

Meh... wake me when you make tuna again.

What we are enjoying so much about pestos is just how easy they are - very little cooking, throw things into a food processor, blend, taste, and violĂ ! This particular one, like the edamame and kale, doesn't use any nuts. We're not sure if that disqualifies it from actually being a pesto, and the result is actually quite similar to a tomato sauce more than any pesto we've encountered before.

Fresh summer cherry tomatoes, the peak of perfection!

Regardless, the result was delicious and extremely easy to make. Plus, you get to make use of the abundant cherry tomatoes that are at their peak right now, so there's no reason not to try this.

Making the Dish
1/2 teaspoon of salt packed capers

To get started, you'll need to soak your capers for a bit. Take a teaspoon of them and soak them in water for about 10 minutes. Then rinse them off again and place them in the food processor. This gives you the briny flavor without the salt overload.

Delicious looking sun dried tomatoes

Next, drop in a cup of oil packed sun dried tomatoes into the food processor. You can augment this with a couple tablespoons of olive oil as well. Pulse the food processor a few times to get a nice paste of the sun dried tomatoes and capers.

Pulse the sun dried tomatoes, capers, and olive oil into a paste

Finally, slice your cherry tomatoes in half. You'll need about a pint's worth. Once completed, add them to the food processor as well, and pulse everything together. You'll have a nice puree of tomatoes once this is complete.

Adding the cherry tomatoes into the pesto

Empty your tomato pesto into a bowl and grate in about a quarter cup of parmigiano or pecorino romano cheese, whichever you prefer.

Grating in fresh pecorino romano cheese
Additionally, add in about three tablespoons of chopped fresh chives. Stir evereything together, taste, season with salt and pepper if needed, and when it's too your liking, you're done!

All of the ingredients together, now mix!

Since this is a relatively simple preparation, we used fresh pasta to augment the overall flavor experience. If you can find it, we'd definitely recommend it, but if not, dry pasta will be fine. Any kind of pasta will work; we grabbed chitarra cut fresh spaghetti since it's nice and thick and would bind well with the sauce. Thick spaghetti or linguine would be good substitutes if you only have dried pasta available.

Fresh chitarra cut spaghetti

Place your pesto in a skillet over medium heat and warm for a few minutes, stirring regularly. Cook the pasta in salted water until 1 minute shy of the package directions and then move the pasta directly to the skillet, letting some of the cooking water come with it.

Tossing the spaghetti with the pesto and cooking down.

Toss together with the sauce until completely covered and some of the pesto sauce has been absorbed by the pasta.

Serve garnished with a touch of freshly grated cheese, and enjoy!

The Result

Look at that! Looks like a simple tomato sauce, doesn't it? But the deep complexity of the sundried tomatoes and capers, plus the sweetness of the cherry tomatoes, make this a whole different experience.

That this pesto comes together so quickly and easily, with no cooking at all, and that it utilizes summer fresh cherry tomatoes, makes this the perfect pasta dish for the summer. Do yourself a favor and give this pesto a try!

We love sun dried tomatoes and cherry tomatoes - tell us in the comments how else we can use them before the summer is out!

Click through for the full ingredient list

Sun Dried Tomato and Cherry Tomato Pesto

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A quick, delicious pesto. Perfect for summer.

Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:

(Serves: 2)

1/2 lb fresh chitarra cut spaghetti
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 cup sun dried tomatoes
1 tsp capers
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp freshly diced chives
1/4 cup freshly grated cheese undefined
salt and pepper to taste

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