Friday, May 28, 2010

Pasta Prima with Herb Pesto

The other night was grab bag dinner night, but I didn't have some of the ingredients that I pulled so I made grab bag dinner night 'use what's in the fridge, dinner night'. Those nights are good too, right? I must say, there is something really satisfying about heading in to the kitchen with not a clue what you're going to make, pulling out 'what you have' and coming up with something extraordinary.

It really was that good. This is definitely on our list of 'must have again'. Honey has been eating the left overs for lunch and raving about it every time. It's super simple and really flavorful with the yummy herb pesto.

1/2 pkg fusilli pasta
4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into thin strips, then 1 inch bites (think thicker than a matchstick)
1 zucchini, sliced into thin strips, then 1 inch bites
1 red onion, peeled and halved, then sliced thin
1 yellow bell pepper, de-seeded and stemmed, sliced into thin strips, then 1 inch bites
Olive oil
Truffle salt
2-3 cloves garlic
1 pkg cherry tomatoes
For the pesto:
1/2 cup fresh thyme leaves
1 packed Tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup walnuts
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

In a pot of salted water, cook pasta al dente, then drain and set aside.

Preheat oven to 450.

While pasta is cooking, prepare your veg, then spread them out on a roasting tray, or trays. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with truffle salt. Put in oven and roast for about 10 minutes then turn oven off and let veg sit until you need it (in a minute).

Prepare pesto (can be done ahead of time!) by putting thyme, sage, salt, pepper, walnuts and evoo in food processor. Blend until completely smooth. It's really that easy... and the thyme is a great pesto base!

In the same pot you boiled your pasta, heat a little olive oil on med/high heat. Add smashed or chopped garlic and let cook for about a minute. Add in fresh cherry tomatoes and let cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.

When tomatoes are just barely soft, turn heat down to low/med, more low and add roasted vegetables and toss. Then add pasta, by hand, stirring occassionally to make sure the pasta/veg ratio is good.

Add pesto sauce and stir gently to incorporate. Now is the time to taste this masterpiece! Add salt and pepper as you desire. Note: I had pesto sauce left over. I just popped it in the fridge for later. I say this because don't be shy in 'under-saucing'. Less is more in my book.

On a plate or in a bowl. I put it on a plate, piled in a neat little haystack in the middle. Garnish with a dash of truffle salt, if you so desire, and devour. So good!



  1. what a fantastic pasta dish...roasting the veggies first is certainly the key....sometimes making do with what we have on hand can produce spectacular results, or at least unexpected results....but both are good philosophy is if it didnt work, it never happened!!

  2. Stunning! Some of the best meals are those that involve the moment of "oh god, we don't really have any food" panic. Then brilliance. Love it!

  3. Thank you guys! It was a hit and there is something so satisfying with using up what's in the fridge :)



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