Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Simple Summer Sendoff

Summer is almost over.  It couldn't end soon enough if you ask me.  Although I generally am a fan of summer, love the produce, the sun, the fun, I'm definitely over this record heat.  This summer has been the hottest I remember in a long time.  I'm also not looking forward to the infamously hot subway stations of NYC, so please, heat, go away before I move this weekend.  Thanks :)  Since I'll be leaving summer and my parents' garden behind, I figured why not make at least one more delicious and simple meal utilizing some of our homegrown produce!!  I made a %#*$-ton of nut-less pesto and froze it in ice cube trays to enjoy in the coming months. 

Here is the basic recipe, except I ommited the nuts this time and multiplied it by a million: Basil-Walnut Pesto.  We had a table covered from end to end with fresh Armenian basil from our yard (a purple and green color), and I made several batches of delicious garlicky puree with it!  Today I took some of that pesto, added some fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano (don't freeze pesto with cheese mixed in, mix it in later), some tomato concasée (peeled, seeded, diced tomatoes) from our garden fresh tomatoes, some al dente whole wheat linguine, and some of the resulting pasta water and made a small feast!  We sat in our happy air conditioned world and dined on this deliciously simple pasta, sweetened with bursts of sun-ripened tomato.  I've made a similar variation in the past with a pesto cream sauce and tomato concasée, but this was much lighter since it lacked the cream.  Both are delicious :) I've always known that basil and tomatoes are BFFs, but this dish definitely proves that fact!

Whole Wheat Linguine with Fresh Pesto and Tomatoes
Serves 4

13.25 oz box whole wheat linguine
1/2 cup pesto (homemade or store-bought)
3/4 cup peeled, seeded, and diced tomatoes
Grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese for serving

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a generous amount of salt and add the linguine. Cook until al dente, stirring occasionally. Reserve several ladles of pasta cooking water, and then drain the linguine in a colander. Return the linguine to the pot, add the pesto and some pasta water, a little at a time, and mix until the pesto loosens up and coats the pasta nicely. Add the tomatoes and stir. Serve with extra cheese if desired.


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