Sunday, June 3, 2012

Pasta with Sun dried tomato and almond pesto

I have been fortunate to have good neighbors. Those who aren't intruding but are there if you need and ask for help.  Yesterday, I started digging out the stump of a dead tree that I had cut last year. My plan was to dig enough to go underneath and slice off the chunk so that I can fill the hole with dirt and plant a flower plant. I was ambitious to make the hole as big as needed to plant a rose bush. After making enough room to get what I needed, I decided to borrow the power saw from my neighbor. But his tool was not for what I was looking to do and he wanted to come and see the stump to see if something else works. He helped me pull out the stump by cutting few side roots and it was very helpful. As a thank you gesture, I offered to make them pasta for lunch which I am sharing the recipe with you all.

One Year Back - 5 Minute pizza/pasta sauce
Two Years Back - Eggless Mulberry Cupcakes
Rotini or penne - 1 box of 13 Oz ( I used the whole grain rotini)
Olive oil - 3 TBSP
Sliced almonds - 3 TBSP
Red pepper flakes - 1 TBSP or to taste
Salt - to taste
Italian seasoning - 1 TBSP
Onion - 3 medium chopped

For the pesto:
Sun dried tomatoes undrained - 12 - 15
Black pepper - 1 TBSP crushed (or to taste)
Garlic - 4 - 5 cloves
Almond butter - 1/3 cup (Or dry roast 1/2 cup of whole almonds and use it with other ingredients)

Make the Pesto:
Pour 1 1/2 cups of boiling water on the sun dried tomatoes in a bowl. Let it stand for 20 minutes or so. Drain reserving all the water (it has herbs and olive oil). Take the softened sun dried tomatoes in a blender jar or food processor jar. Add either roasted almonds or the almond butter, crushed black pepper, garlic to it. Grind into a smooth paste adding the reserved water from soaking sun dried tomatoes as needed. Set aside.

Prepare for cooking the pasta by boiling a big pot of water which is salted generously. At the same time, heat olive oil in a pan. Add sliced almonds and when they are toasted, add chopped onions. Sprinkle a little bit of salt (go easy on salt here since pasta water has salt and so does the reserved liquid from soaking sun dried tomatoes). Add red chilli flakes, italian seasoning (rub them on your palm before adding) and mix well. When the onion has wilted, add the pesto and remaining reserved water to make the sauce.

Cook pasta as per the box instructions - about 9 - 10 minutes. Drain and add it to the simmering sauce reserving about a cup of pasta water. Add enough pasta water to loosen the whole mixture. Check for the seasonings and add if needed. Serve immediately. If serving later, save some pasta water and adjust the consistency just before serving.

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  1. Never tried out this flavour of pasta..looks yum.
    And, yes..having good neighbours is a blessing.

  2. You are lucky to have good neighbors! Pasta looks delicious

  3. wow. so simple and delicious looking pasta dish. wonderful.

  4. You are blessed with nice neighbors. Its nice that you made this pasta to offer them. Great combination.

  5. Thats a nice pasta :)
    Participate in the ongoing giveaway:
    Pearl Earrings Giveaway

  6. Interesting Champa...I wish I could be your neighbour. I promise I will all the kind gestures of cleaning your vessels after my meals you serve:))

  7. What a great take on the pesto... Terrific post

  8. Hi Champa, how r u doing? U r lucky to have such good neighbours.....& I'm sure they also must be happy to have a good cook like U as a neighbour :)...Pasta looks good....I made something like that long time back, I used almonds, pics are stll in my was totally eye ball receipe so never get around posting it....I really like how u r so quick in posting on blog....hope u got the rose bush planted by now....

    1. Spice,
      I am good. How are you? Surely there are nice people around where I live. And it is easiest and best way for me to thank them with food. They didn't have to cook for one day so works out good. I did plant my rose bush. They will probably bloom in a week or two.(few roses)

      I do post immediately and that sometimes is not so good.


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