Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta

When I was in college and had a…we’ll just say a rough night, I would often have pasta with tomato sauce for breakfast. Much like home fries and ketchup, there was something healing about a big bowl of carbs coated in thick, salty, tangy, antioxidant-filled tomato sauce and salty, sharp cheese. Back then I always had a jar of tomato sauce in the fridge; today, not so much. But I do have sun dried tomatoes, almonds, garlic and olive oil.

This weekend was the wedding of some of my best friends and all the fun from Saturday was followed by a certain amount (a LOT) of lethargy on Sunday. Sigh, when did I get so old? For breakfast I turned to potatoes and ketchup (and gravy and cheese, if I’m being completely honest-disco tots! Brilliant!), but for dinner, I turned to my old friend pasta with tomato sauce.

I’ll admit that part of the reason I made this recipe was because it required no trip to the grocery store and hence allowed me more time on the couch. I’ll also admit that I took this very, very fast recipe and made it quicker by lazily skipping the whole toasting-the-nuts part. I just…didn’t…want…to bother. It was just asking too much. I didn’t miss the toastiness, but it probably would add a little something-something  and you should probably take the 3 minutes and toast yours.

This is a quick, hangry meal. It’s super garlicky, super salty, and super rich and tomato-y. This pesto contains no cheese, which I liked because it’s already pretty rich from the tomatoes and cheese would dilute the deep flavor. You should aim to use good quality sun-dried tomatoes, since they define the entire flavor profile of this dish. I’m going to suggest this for your next hungover day…we all have them.

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta

Adapted from Food and Wine. Serves 3-4.

Mine turned out really, really, really garlicky, which I loved. If you’re garlic-sensitive, cut it back a clove. I used rotini, which is nice because the pesto sticks in the grooves, but you could use any pasta, really.  

1/2 c oil-packed sundried tomatoes, drained
1/3 c sliced almonds (toasted, if you’re fancy)
2 large garlic cloves, sliced
1/2 c olive oil
8 oz pasta (I used whole wheat)

  • Fill a medium pot with water and add a good palmful of salt (it should be salty!). Bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente
  • While the pasta cooks, combine the sun-dried tomatoes, almonds and garlic in a mini food processor and pulse until ground
  • While the machine is running, add the olive oil in a steady stream until well combined
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper; the amount of salt will depend on how salty your tomatoes were
  • When the pasta is done, drain it in a colander, return to the pot and toss with the pesto. Serve

2 thoughts on “Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta

  1. This would be the perfect comfort food for any reason. I make a sun-dried tomato “cream” sauce that uses some cream cheese and parmesan. Sun dried tomatoes are such a nice briny addition to any pasta. Have a great week Cali. Hope you are fully recovered!

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