Sun-dried Tomato Pesto
|Have I ever mentioned my love/hate of Giada De Laurentiis? I love her style of cooking and her easy to follow recipes. But the sight of her freakishly huge mouth, frankly, frightens me. I also don't appreciate her mammories staring me in the face. Okay, she's a pretty gal all in all, but I don't need her boobies winkin' at me to want to keep watching her show. I won't change the channel if she comes on, but I'll look around the room and try to avoid all eye to freakish mouth and semi-obscene boobie contact that I can. I listen intensely and sometimes I'll just stare at her hands and what she's doing.. but I will not let myself look at that grimmace she calls a smile for fear of instantly turning into stone. Okay so maybe? I exaggerate. A little. It's not nice to judge someone by their appearance. I'm a big advocate of getting to know someone before I make my opinions. I don't judge her, I think she's very talented and I'm sure she's a loverly gal once you get to know her. Her and the girls, that is.|
I did purchase her book and on one hand I'm glad that I did.. it's nice to be able to flip to a recipe while in my kitchen instead of walking back to my office and looking for the recipe online. But, that's one thing I wish I had known before I bought the book.. I'm noticing that almost every single recipe in the book that I paid money for is accessible online for FREE. AND when I go look up one of those recipes online, I'm not assaulted by a picture of her. Her cookbook holds more pictures of her than of the recipes. That can't be right. Can it?
Well today I decided to take a lil advice from my friend Ali. I decided that since it was still a little too cold out to work in the yard (the ground is still rock hard) I was going to make this a "pamper yourself" day. So after my normal routine in the morning... reading my favorite blogs, drinking a couple cups of coffee and playing online canasta (so addicted to that game)... I drew myself a nice hot bath and poured in some delicious smelling ginger-peach bath salts from Pier One. I lit my bathroom candles and poured myself a glass of peach nectar and club soda, then I relaxed for an hour and read my new book - which is quite hysterical and written by a very talented blogger who I love, Jen Lancaster. After that, I pampered my house and cleaned from top to bottom while my brother-in-law (love him!) graciously came over to mow my lawn as it was getting higher than Nigel in hubbs' absence. By noon I had a sparkling clean house, a beautiful looking and wonderfully smelling, freshly mowed lawn, 3 loads of laundry done and I was feeling pretty damn good about myself. Now it was time to start to think about what's for dinner? Did I really want to take some kind of meat outta the freezer or did I want pasta? Did I want something I already know how to make or did I want to try something new? I do have all those cookbooks just sitting there.. many never even looked at past their introduction pages. So I grabbed my Giada and my Nigella - passing over my Paula because today was not a day for something with a pound of butter in it. I decided on making a pesto with penne tonight, I just had to choose which one. During my weekly grocery get, I replenished my sun-dried tomatoes and they were calling out to me from the pantry as they always do.. so that's what I picked. Sun-dried tomato pesto with penne. It turned out really good. Really good considering I didn't have any fresh basil. I always have fresh basil, how I did not have any today was a complete surprise to me. So I substituted with fresh baby spinach. Didn't miss the basil at all. The combination of the tomatoes in their oil and the garlic and romano was delish. The penne was al dente and held onto the pesto perfectly. I've got left over pesto and I think I'll be trying it again with my homemade gnocchi that I'm going to attempt tomorrow, courtesy of Ivonne. =)
Sun-dried Tomato Pesto with Penne
1 (8.5 oz.) jar sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil
1 c. (packed) fresh basil leaves (I used spinach)
2 garlic cloves
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese (I used Pecorino Romano)
1/2 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste.
Olive oil (my addition)
Blend the tomatoes and their oil with the basil and garlic just until the tomatoes are finely chopped. Transfer the pesto to a medium bowl, and stir in the cheese and 1/2 tsp. each of salt & pepper. Season the pesto with more salt and pepper to taste. I added a wee bit of olive oil because my pesto looked a little dry. After plating, I drizzled with a little more olive oil for a bit of added richness. This pesto will last for 1 week if stored in an airtight container.