A kitchen disaster turned triumph. We got our first bunch of fresh basil from the farm yesterday, which in my family means two things: summer has officially arrived, and pesto! I didn’t want to use a whole lot of oil, so I decided to throw in the rest of the can of Italian style tomatoes to add some liquid and flavor. All well and good… until I couldn’t get the blender to work. So I chopped everything up as small as I could and threw in a saucepan for a few minutes. I actually liked it better, you have more control and flexibility in what you throw in and don’t have to fight with the blender. Very filling, certainly wasn’t a very low-fat meal, really didn’t need even close to all the oil I had already thrown in the blender, so I’ve reduced it slightly in the recipe, and the parmesan could easily be eliminated for a vegan dish. My brother complained that the walnuts were a bit chunkier than he liked, so grinding them might be a good alternative, though I personally liked the texture contrast with the soft pasta. Tofu cubes would also be great in this I think.The recipe might need to be expanded a bit to serve four, especially if it is served on regular pasta, since I was just cooking for me and my brother tonight and the pesto was served on tortellinis… but we did still have about half of it left over. Also, it’s rather heavy, so it would be perfect with a refreshing cucumber or green salad!
Tomato basil pesto
2 servings pasta
1 tbsp. of oil
1 clove garlic, minced
Around 1/4 cup of finely chopped walnuts
Leaves of 4-5 stalks of basil, chopped
Half a 15 oz. can Italian style chopped tomatoes
A little fresh parsley, chopped
A bit of fresh oregano
Generous sprinkle parmesan cheese
Sauté garlic and walnuts in oil over medium heat in a small saucepan. Add basil, then tomatoes, parsley, and oregano. Simmer for several minutes until thick and tender. Stir in parmesan cheese for the final minute or two, remove from heat and mix with the pasta, then serve!