meatless monday: sundried tomato basil pesto pasta

basil & tomato: bright & fresh.

You like those big, bright flavors of summer, right? Like fresh basil, sweetly acidic tomatoes kissed by the sun, rich but somehow light pesto…this dish, served warm or cold, will be your summertime staple. I love making pesto, and experimenting with the greens/garlic/nut combos. I say go to town on this recipe, and add a little freshly shredded parmesan if you want a cheese kick too. Thanks to foodie blog Oh She Glows for the inspiration!

Sundried Tomato Pasta with Pesto & Basil
adapted, barely, from Oh She Glows

For the pesto (makes about 3/4 c.)
:
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 c. fresh basil leaves, generously packed
7-8 sundried tomatoes, olive-oil packed
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
6-8 tbsp. water
3-4 tbsp. walnuts (toasted, if preferred)
Salt and pepper to taste
Crushed red pepper flakes to taste

For the pasta:
Your choice of pasta, prepared according to package
Big fistfuls of walnuts, chopped and toasted
Pesto
Sundried tomatoes, chopped
Fresh basil leaves, roughly torn

In food processor, with machine running, drop in garlic cloves to mince. Add basil and process until finely chopped. Add olive oil, tomatoes and water (add slowly as needed). Process until mostly smooth. Pulse in walnuts until chunky and season with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes to taste.

In a large bowl, combine cooked pasta, walnuts and pesto to your taste and preference. Mix until well combined, then plate pasta and garnish with sundried tomatoes and basil leaves. Serve with rustic, crusty bread and a simple salad, and a big, ice-cold glass of spiked lemonade.

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