Monday, March 29, 2010

Gemelli with Fresh Tomatoes and Pesto

So because my last post felt so lame I thought I'd write about a recipe that I LOVE. I got this pasta dish off of "Poor Girl Gourmet" It's an absolutely delicious blog that I beg you to go check out! AND she's got her first cookbook coming out May 18th!

This recipe is fantastically fresh tasting. Super easy it's only got a handful of ingredients. Until this recipe I didn't even know gemelli pasta existed but I highly recommend using this pasta (instead of substituting a different kind in) because the shape is perfect for catching bits of pesto and tomato. I've made it both with fresh, store-bought pesto and homemade pesto and both ways turned out incredible. I love Trader Joe's Pesto if I'm pressed for time and can't make my own. And, trust me, this cheese is totally worth looking for-it provides the perfect finish of flavors for this dish!

The recipe:

1 pound gemelli pasta
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 pound tomatoes, coarsely chopped and seeded***
1/2 cup basil pesto
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano

Bring a large pot slightly salted  water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions for al dente. NOTE: You'll be using 1/2 cup of the pasta water so don't drain before reserving the liquid!!

Once you've added the pasta to the boiling water begin to heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant. Add tomatoes and continue cooking until softened and a sauce begins to form. If your pasta isn't done at this point you'll want to remove the tomato sauce from the heat so that it doesn't get mushy.

When your pasta is done, drain (AFTER reserving 1/2 cup of the liquid) and add to tomato mixture along with 1/2 cup pasta water. Stir in the pesto and salt and pepper to taste. Top with grated cheese.

***I like to use cherry tomatoes for this recipe. They seem to have an extra little flavor that I love with the pesto. I cut them into quarters, seed them and then throw them into the food processor where I whirl them around for a few seconds and they turn out lovely!

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