Sunday, April 28, 2013

pressing play {+ arugula and charred tomato pesto}

Took a little pause there, didn't we?

The past two weeks have been quite full...

Full of two very different tragedies in two very different places {for those of you who asked about our family and friends near West, everyone in Waco is well and accounted for - thank you so much for your thoughts}...

Full of revelry in an utterly charming city...

And, full of that blasted extended hangover that follows fast and furious traveling.  

IMG_2398
a little Boston Love from Charleston

Much to digest {figuratively, of course... and literally... oooffriedgreentomatoesgoodnessgracioussakesalive}, and much to share. 

But first, while I get my rear in gear, a recipe...

Arugula & Charred Tomato Pesto
modified from Gourmet Today

Arugula & Roasted Tomato Pesto. #wfd

The original recipe from Gourmet Today is one of my go-to, so-simple-it's-criminal favorites, but I did a little s'perimenting last week, and the result tickled me pink. 

Ingredients
- 1 lb pasta shape of your choice {I like penne or bow-tie}
- 1/4 c. reserved pasta water + additional 1/4 c.
- 2 T + 1/4 to 1/3 c. EVOO
- 1.5 lbs cherry tomatoes
- 2 garlic cloves, minced 
- 8 oz arugula 
- 2 T toasted pine nuts or walnuts 
- 1/3 c hard Italian cheese {Parmesan, Asiago, Pecorino, etc - or blend}, granted + more for passing
- kosher salt to taste 

Bring large pot of salted water to boil.  Cook pasta al dente according to package directions; drain {reserving water as needed} and return to pot. 

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of EVOO over medium high heat.  Add washed tomatoes to pan, stirring occasionally, until they char - about 5-8 min.  Reduce heat; borrowing some water from the boiling pasta, stir in water with tomatoes, cover, and simmer until tomatoes begin to disintegrate, adding more water if needed - about 10 minutes. 

In a food processor, pulse together: tomatoes, arugula, garlic, nuts, and 1/3 c. cheese to form a paste.  With the food processor running, slowly add EVOO until your pesto reaches your desired consistency {I prefer adding less oil and thinning it out with the reserved pasta water when tossing with pasta}. Taste and add salt as desired.  Toss with hot pasta, adding reserved water to thin pesto if needed.  Garnish with more cheese if you are the proud owner of a pulse so desired.

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