Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
It's true that the simplest things are really often the best things in life. Case in point: this Sun-dried tomato pesto. This will take less than 10 minutes of your time to make and can be enjoyed so many different ways: on pasta, with ricotta, on toast, eggs, in a vinaigrette, you name it! No matter what you do with it, this pesto is one of those things that provides instant flavor to any dish. And like traditional basil pesto, you can freeze it too for future use! So what are you waiting for?!
1 cup jarred sun-dried tomatoes + 2 tablespoons of oil from the jar
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup basil, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Toast your pine nuts in a small sauté pan on high heat until fragrant and nicely toasted. This will only take a couple of minutes max, so watch carefully because they can burn fast!
Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth and fully incorporated. Season to taste and mix again.
Use immediately or freeze in ice cube trays and cover tightly in freezer bag or with plastic wrap.
To make creamy pesto pasta:
Boil salted water and add the whole box of short pasta (like penne or orecchiette). I know, it's a lot of pasta, but this doubles as great meal prep for the week ahead. Cook pasta until just under al dente, about 7-8 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water for the sauce and set aside. Drain and rinse pasta and set aside.
Heat 4 tablespoons of the pesto over medium low heat in a large sauté pan. Add the pasta to the sauté pan with the pesto and toss together. Add about 1/4 of the pasta water and toss again. You will notice the sauce thicken a bit due to the magic of pasta water. Add about 1/4 more of the pasta water and stir again. Season to taste. Add 1/2 cup of half and half or Nutpods, stir, and let the pasta simmer in the sauce for about 2-3 minutes until thickened a bit. Use remaining pasta water if preferred for extra sauciness.
Off heat, add 1/2 cup of grated parmesan and toss. Serve immediately!