Our tomato pesto packs a wallop of flavor. Use it in this colorful pasta salad or toss it with hot pasta instead. You may also want to try the pesto on top of grilled chicken, lamb or vegetables; as a sandwich spread; or mixed with cream cheese on a bagel.
- For the Pine Nuts:
- 3/4 cup pine nuts
- For the Pesto:
- 15 drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, 5 of them chopped
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
- For the Salad:
- 1 pound fusilli
- 1/4 pound spinach leaves, shredded (about 2 cups)
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes (about 6 ounces)
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
FOR PINE NUTS: In a small frying pan, toast the pine nuts over moderately low heat, stirring frequently, until golden brown, about 5 minutes; remove from the pan. Or toast the pine nuts in a 350 degrees F oven for 5 to 10 minutes.
FOR PESTO: In a blender or food processor, put 1/4 cup of the pine nuts, the whole sun-dried tomatoes, the oil, water, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Puree until smooth.
FOR SALAD: Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the fusilli until just done, about 13 minutes. Drain. Rinse with cold water and drain thoroughly. In a large glass or stainless steel bowl, toss the pasta with the remaining 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, the pesto, the chopped sun-dried tomatoes, the spinach, cherry tomatoes and Parmesan.
Tip: VARIATIONS: <LI>Use chopped walnuts instead of pine nuts.</LI>
<LI>Add 1/2 cup of roughly chopped pitted black olives to the salad.</LI> WINE RECOMMENDATION:
There are seven different subzones within the Chianti growing area, among them the famed Classico. The best choice for this pasta, however, would be a Chianti from Rufina, where the wines are crisper, with more vibrant fruitiness.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Food and Wine. All rights reserved.
nutrition information per serving
872 calories; 45g total fat; 5mg cholesterol; 908mg sodium; 94g carbohydrates; 6g fiber; 25g protein
These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.
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