Sunday, May 23, 2010

Pesto alla Trapanese

This was a quick dinner that I whipped up at the beginning of the week. Dad found the recipe from the genius team at America's Test Kitchen. So easy and so good.

(from America's Test Kitchen)

Serves 4 to 6

1/4 cup slivered almonds
12 oz cherry or grape tomatoes (about 2 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1 medium garlic clove, minced or pressed (about 1 teaspoon)
**1 small pepperoncini (hot peppers in vinegar), stemmed, seeded, and minced
Pinch of salt
Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 lb pasta

  1. Toast almonds in small skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until pale golden and fragrant, 2 to 4 minutes. Cool almonds to room temperature.

  2. Process cooled almonds, tomatoes, basil, garlic, pepperoncini, salt, and red pepper flakes (if using) in food processor until smooth, about 1 minute. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula. With machine running, slowly drizzle in oil, about 30 seconds.

  3. Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Add pasta and 1 tablespoon salt and cook until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water; drain pasta and transfer back to cooking pot.

  4. Add pesto to pasta and toss until coated, adjusting consistency with reserved pasta cooking water. Serve immediately.

** A half teaspoon of red wine vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes an be substituted for the pepperoncini.

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