Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Rustic Walnut-Basil Pesto Pasta with Grape Tomatoes

I have discovered a new (to me) pasta shape! Fusilli con buco, or what looks like long curly fat spaghetti.

I thought the pasta would just drink up a nice rustic walnut-basil pesto, and with a toss of sweet grape tomatoes, a sprinkle of fresh ground black pepper and Parmesan cheese it made a perfect 15-minute dinner.

Rustic Walnut Pesto Pasta with Grape Tomatoes:
(serves 2-4, depending on appetite)

8 oz dried fusilli con buco (or your favorite pasta shape)
2 c loosely packed basil leaves
2-3 large garlic cloves
1/3 c walnuts, toasted
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
Sprinkle salt for taste (if desired)
Olive oil (to desired consistency)
Large handful (about a cup) of sweet grape tomatoes

Boil heavily salted water, add pasta. Boil until al dente (about 10 minutes, max).

Drain pasta, reserving 1/4 c pasta cooking water. Meanwhile, puree basil, garlic, walnuts, Parmesan and salt in a food processor, adding oil in a slow drizzle to create the pesto.

Once pasta is cooked and drained, add pesto and pasta water, toss to incorporate, then add whole grape tomatoes. Toss again to coat, plate and top with additional Parmesan if desired. Serve immediately.


lululu said...

so happen, i've made pasta with cheery tomato tonite. :D
just wonder walnut is also good for making pesto? i usually use pine nut traditionally.

Kirsten said...

Hey lululu - too funny about pasta synergy. Great minds think alike! :)

I normally use pine nuts too, but I was out and have tried other pestos with different nuts with good results. The walnut pesto was delicious, it added a rich nuttiness (is that a word?) that was really unique and good.

Peabody said...

Minus the tomatoes and I am all over this. No tomatoes because of course I am allergic.
Is it hot there yet???

Freya said...

Love the pesto with walnuts! A delicious, colourful dish!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Oh, Kirsten! I want that pasta shape, too - it looks wonderful!

Adding the tomatoes to something already delicious was a smart move!

Anonymous said...

Even though pine nuts are most common for pesto, I more often use walnuts--partly because I'm more likely to have them around the house and partly because they really do add a wonderful taste. I've also heard of using pecans for pesto.

Chris said...

This looks so, so satisfying! I like presto with pine nuts, walnuts, and pecans! Bring it on!

Brilynn said...

I love the shape of those noodles! And I can't wait until the basil is up in the garden to make some pesto of my own.

Kirsten said...

Hi Peabody - yep, it's very hot here.

Thanks Freya and Patricia! :)

Terry - same with me, walnuts are usually already in the house, plus they do taste good.

Thanks Chris!

I know Brilynn - aren't they cute noodles. I wish I had a garden...but sadly I kill every plant I have ever tried to grow. :(

Unknown said...

By FAR my favorite shape of pasta. It is hard to find sometimes but I know that World Market used to carry it!

SB said...

Hi Kirsten, loved the recipe. Cheated a little and used the store bought pesto from Trader Joe's. Definitely a great and refreshing dish, especially in summer.