Savory Sun Dried Tomatoes, Roasted Almonds and Fresh Basil Pesto

Today I spent part of the day with Andrés Ignacio and Tomás Eugenio decorating our Christmas tree. We were playing Christmas music and, after the Thanksgiving marathon, all I wanted was a savory bowl of pasta.

I went to look for something in the refrigerator and found an almost empty jar of sun dried tomatoes. Nothing made with sun dried tomatoes could be bad, I thought, and suddenly there was light: what about a pesto with fresh basil, sun dried tomatoes and garlic?
I wanted to add some toasted walnuts but, instead, found roasted almonds. Similar to  pesto alla trapanese, this one is definitely more rustic, garlicky, with the more intense flavor of the dried tomatoes, and lots of crunchy almond chunks.
I think this pesto makes a tasteful spread to have it with toast o fresh bread, or in a sandwich with fresh mozzarella. Since this is really chunky, for the bow-tie noodles, I added some of the pasta water. We ate it warm because of the season, but I think that cold this will make a super savory pasta salad.
Since the dried tomatoes are salty, I didn't add any salt. Here is my recipe.
Sun Dried Tomatoes, Roasted Almonds and Fresh Basil Pesto |Ingredients for 1 cup of pesto (makes 6-8 portions of pasta)
1 package of bow-tie noodles
½ cup of sun dried tomatoes in olive oil, drained
½ cup of roasted almonds
2 cups of basil leaves
4 garlic cloves
1/3 cup of grated parmesan cheese (I used Parmigiano Reggiano)
¼  cup of extra virgin olive oil

Put the water for the pasta to boil. In a food processor, process the tomatoes, almonds, basil, garlic and some of the olive oil. While processing, add the rest of the olive oil and process until combined, but chunky. Pour the pesto in a bowl, add the cheese and mix well.  In the meantime, cook the pasta and once it’s al dente, strain it, reserving 1 cup of the water. Let some fresh water run on top of the pasta to stop cooking. Strain again. In a big bowl mix the pesto with the pasta and add the water. Combine and serve.

To print the recipe click here.

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