Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Food: Sage-Walnut Pesto Pasta with Oven-Roasted Tomatoes


Unexpectedly, I was able to leave work a few hours early today, so after finishing some homework, I started on dinner. We deviated a little bit this week from our original menu plan due to some slow-to-ripen avocados, but really it all worked out great! I prepared this meal while JP installed new brakes on my car. I don't care how chauvinist the image may seem, but nothing is sexier than seeing your husband with grease on his hands, sweat on his brow, laboring to serve you. He didn't know it, but I kept peeking outside to see how he was trucking along. {-:

This dinner was exceptionally fun to make! I had never really cooked with such a great quantity of herbs, and it really enjoyable to see what natural greens can become. I left the door open while in the kitchen -- it's so breezy out with the incoming cool front -- and Gilly happily went in and out, seeing what everybody was up to. We decided to eat outside, just can't get over this wonderful weather!


While J. finished with the brakes, I walked to the back of our yard to examine the newly-blooming bushes/trees. Please tell me you know the name of these flowers! I found several that might meet the description, but I am just not certain. Help?!

Breathtaking, right?


The Gilly Monster scampering away


Unintentionally, we ate this when it was more on the cool side and it still tasted delicious. As some of my friends know, I am not a ricotta fan and was tempted to substitute it with goat cheese, but in a last-minute decision, stayed as true to the recipe as I could, plus we already had the ricotta from a previous dinner. There's such a small amount used, and the pesto is the more dominant flavor, so I really didn't mind it at all. Plus, it all mixes together rather nicely. And those tomatoes? To die for. I can see this becoming a classic in our household.

Also served with the pasta, we have toasted Parmesan Ciabatta bread -- which is exactly as it sounds -- and a mix of fruit: strawberry, kiwi, clementine, black grape, and plum. We opened a bottle of Biltmore Estate Riesling (from our first wedding anniversary trip) and enjoyed a small glass with dinner. What a great evening together!

Sage-Walnut Pesto Pasta with Oven-Roasted Tomatoes
Ingredients

  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 Tbs thyme
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 C parsley
  • 1/2 C sage
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 oz Parmesan cheese, broken into a few pieces
  • 3/4 C walnuts, toasted and cooled
  • 1/2 C olive oil
  • 16 oz linguine
  • 1/2 C ricotta
Directions
  • Preheat oven to 400F. In small 8x8 baking dish, place tomatoes, olive oil, thyme, and salt/pepper. Roast 30-minutes until skins are wrinkled.
  • Begin boiling a pot of water for pasta noodles
  • In a food processor, combine parsley, sage, garlic and Parmesan. Pulse until everything is finely chopped. Add the toasted walnuts and pulse until combined. With the processor running, slowly pour in the olive oil until desired consistency. Season with salt & pepper.
  • Prepare pasta according to directions. Drain, reserving 1 C of pasta cooking water. Return pasta to pot and mix in ricotta. Add 1/2 of pesto and stir to combine. Add the pasta water as needed to loosen sauce until desired consistency. Taste and add more pesto. Serve with roasted tomatoes on top.
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