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Oh, how I love Giada

April 23, 2005

Last night Leti came over for dinner, and we decided to make pasta with sun-dried tomato pesto from Everyday Italian by Giada De Laurentis. It was so delicious, and super-simple to make. Every bite was perfectly sweet, with freshness from the basil and salty flavor from the Parmesan. We all loved this dish, and I wouldn’t hesitate to make it again.

Notes: I used a little less than a cup of fresh basil (that’s all I had in the fridge), a 7-ounce jar of sun-dried tomatoes, and only 1 clove of garlic, and it worked out fine for one pound of penne. I salted the water for the pasta, did not add salt to the pesto as the recipe suggests, and it tasted perfect. And finally, I added about 1/2 cup of the pasta water to the finished dish to smooth out the sauce.

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

  • 1 (8.5-ounce) jar sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil
  • 1 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

In the bowl of a food processor, blend the sun-dried tomatoes and their oil with the basill and garlic just until the tomatoes are finely chopped. Transfer the pesto to a medium bowl, and stir in the cheese and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Season the pesto with more salt and pepper to taste. (This pesto will last for 1 week in the refrigerator if stored in an airtight container).

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Everyday Italian by Giada De Laurentis

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3 Discussion to this post
  1. Joey E. says:

    Oh this is so close to what I love to get at Whole Foods! It’s just missing the pine nuts and the artichoke hearts, but it still looks yum. Jo is getting the ingredients to make this one. :-) So what is the real definition of ‘Pesto’? I always thought pesto was green?

  2. Crystal says:

    Well, according to my sources, traditional pesto is a thick sauce made of olive oil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, salt, and fresh basil, usually made in a mortar and pestle or in a food processor. But now many thick sauces that are made with olive oil mixed with finely chopped ingredients (such as sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, arugula, or even mint) are called “pestos.” None of the sauces have to be cooked, and they’re usually great with pasta or fish. (I just love my handy dandy Penguin Companion to Food…) I think I’ll use your idea of adding artichoke hearts next time…sounds yummy!

  3. Joey E. says:

    Yum! Call us when you do! ;-)

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