Tag: dried tomato pesto

Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomato and Pistachio Pesto and a new Saturday ritual

Pasta with Dried-Tomato and Pistachio Pesto

We started a new ritual and that’s to spend our Saturdays without any electronic devices, preferably in the countryside. It’s just the two of us, no duties, meetings, parties or anything, we just go with the flow and see where our mood takes us. I can’t even say which part of this ritual I enjoy more, the fact that we leave the city for a few hours or that I have 24 hours without emails, Instagram or any other social network activities. I love it.

Last Saturday we spontaneously decided to take the bus to the west of Berlin to have a cup of espresso in my aunt Ursula’s kitchen. She and my uncle Uwe make the best coffee in town and whenever I announce our visit, I can be sure to find a few pieces of cake on their table – they know me well. The espresso tasted so good that I had to have 2 doppio, which made me a bit hyperactive and ready for the next adventure. We wanted to visit Berlin’s best farmers market at Karl-August-Platz, but we got “stuck” on Kantstraße, a street famous for its Asian restaurants. We stopped at a restaurant that I’ve been wanting to test for years, but unfortunately, it didn’t meet my expectations. We ordered 6 dishes and none of them really struck me. The problem with hyped food places in the city is that you expect something outstandingly amazing if so many people talk about it. So if it’s just average, it’s disappointing. Our dessert was ice cream from the supermarket, which I don’t do very often, but it never lets me down and it’s a reminder of lots of good childhood memories. Stuffed and happy we walked to a small lake and fell asleep in the warming sunlight. The whole scene felt a bit Roman: Two happy people after a lavish meal taking a nap on a blanket in the grass.

Revitalized, we drove back home, planning our dinner of white asparagus, fresh from the fields in Beelitz. It wouldn’t be a proper Saturday if our plans didn’t change with our mood. We stopped by at our favourite local wine shop to buy a bottle of rosé for our meal, but the little bistro tables looked so inviting that we couldn’t resist sitting down for a glass of German Weissburgunder, some lemon olives, and an asparagus quiche. We got chatty and silly and stayed until 11pm, needless to say, we didn’t stop after the first glass.

We haven’t made any plans for next weekend yet, but at one point there will be this pasta dish on the table again, which I came up with last week and got hooked on. It’s a quick pesto made of sun-dried tomatoes and pistachios, the combination is divine, and it’s even better when it’s stirred into warm spaghetti. It also works very well as a thick spread on rustic white bread, the perfect nibble along with a glass of chilled German white wine. There’s one thing that our Saturdays have in common, there’s often a bottle of good wine involved – la dolce vita for a day!

Here’s my recipe for another sun-dried tomato pesto, with rosemary and thyme.

Pasta with Dried-Tomato and Pistachio Pesto

 

Pasta with Dried-Tomato and Pistachio Pesto

Pasta with Dried-Tomato and Pistachio Pesto

Serves 2

dried spaghetti, about 200g / 7 ounces
flaky sea salt, for the topping
black peppercorns, crushed in a mortar, for the topping

For the pesto

sun-dried tomatoes, preserved in salt, 50g / 1 3/4 ounces
salted shelled pistachios 60g / 2 ounces, plus a few chopped pistachios for the topping
olive oil 60ml / 1/4 cup
garlic, crushed, 1 large clove

In a large pot, cook the spaghetti in boiling salted water until al dente.

In a small saucepan, cook the sun-dried tomatoes in a little boiling water for about 3-4 minutes or until soft. Reserve the water and rinse the tomatoes under cold water. Pat them dry with paper towels.

In a food processor or blender, purée the dried tomatoes along with 4 tablespoons of their cooking water, the pistachios, olive oil, and the garlic until smooth. Add more of the cooking water and olive oil if the pesto is too dry.

Divide the pasta between 2 plates and stir in some of the pesto. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios and season with flaky sea salt and crushed pepper to taste.

You can use any leftover pesto as a spread on bread.

Pasta with Dried-Tomato and Pistachio Pesto

 

Pasta with Dried-Tomato and Pistachio Pesto

 

pastadriedtomatopistachiopesto6

 

pastadriedtomatopistachiopesto8

Sun-dried Tomato Pesto with Rosemary and Thyme

Dried Tomato Pesto on Focaccia

7:1! That was a crazy night and I still can’t believe that Germany beat Brazil in the semi final with such an unbelievable result. After the 3rd goal I thought I was dreaming, and it went on, and on and on! Although I’m not the biggest football fan even I couldn’t keep my eyes off the game!

Time to calm down now, and nothing relaxes me more than a nice portion of carbohydrates! Luckily it’s Sandwich Wednesday again and after last weeks fruity and sweet roast apricots on Malin’s delicious turmeric bread I felt like something hearty again, a concentrated sun-dried tomato pesto with rosemary and thyme spread on an oily focaccia bun. I love this rich pesto just as much mixed with spaghetti, therefore I always prepare a big bowl to last for a few days and include at least one pasta meal. It’s great on pizza too and I’m sure there are a few other combinations you can come up with!

I always buy Maltese, Gozitan or Italian dried tomatoes. The ripe fruits taste so intense when they dry up under the Mediterranean sun, a bit oily and salty through the sea salt that helps the drying process. Before I throw them in the food processor I cook them in a bit of water for just a minute to soften them and rinse off excess salt. I purée them together with some pine nuts, garlic, fresh rosemary and thyme, olive oil and a bit of the salty liquid used to cook the tomatoes. Sometimes I add some fresh chili or cumin, basil is nice too! It’s one of these recipes you can easily adapt to your mood and taste!

Dried Tomato Pesto on Focaccia

 Sun-dried Tomato Pesto with Rosemary and Thyme 

For 4 people you need

sun-dried tomatoes, cooked in some water for 1 minute, 70g / 2.5 ounces
water used to cook the tomatoes, 2 tablespoons (if you use the pesto for a pasta dish add 6-8 tablespoons)
olive oil 50ml /2 ounces
pine nuts 20g / 1 ounces
garlic, 1 big clove
fresh thyme leaves 1 1/2 tablespoon plus more for topping
fresh rosemary, 1 tablespoon

optionally
chopped fresh chili, a pinch of cumin or fresh basil

for sandwiches
4 focaccia buns or 1 loaf of bread

for a pasta dish
spaghetti 400g / 14 ounes

Purée the ingredients in a food processor to a smooth paste and spread on the bread or mix with spaghetti cooked in lots of salted water (al dente).

Dried Tomato Pesto on Focaccia

 

Dried Tomato Pesto on Focaccia