Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Pesto for the masses

My husband's take on the traditional pesto is not only easy on the wallet, it's easy in every other way as well. If you'd like to dress it up a bit, add sauteed mushrooms and/or cubed tofu (or whatever protein you prefer) as we do.

If you're really looking to impress, make sure you try the sun-dried tomato variation. Heck, try it even if you aren't trying to impress. I promise you'll love it.

David's Poor Man's Pesto

½ cup olive oil
2 cups (half of a large bunch) fresh parsley, stems removed
1 teaspoon dried basil
5 cloves of garlic
1/3 cup ground almonds
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 pound pasta, cooked (reserve a few tablespoons of water)

Toss all of the ingredients (except the pasta, of course) into a blender or food processor and pulse until fully combined. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.

Toss with cooked pasta.

If it seems dry, stir in a few tablespoons of the reserved pasta water until it reaches your desired consistency.

Serve topped with more Parmesan and whatever other toppings (sauteed mushrooms, fried/cubed tofu, etc.) you prefer.

Sun-dried tomato variation: Reduce fresh parsley to one cup and replace with about 30 sun-dried tomatoes that have been reconstituted in hot water for about 20 minutes (use the freeze-dried variety, not the ones packed in oil). Continue as above, using the same ingredients and following the same instructions.

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