February 22, 2011

Fussili with Pesto Tomatoes and Broccoli


I adore pesto.  I realize that it's something that you either like or you don't, but I really like it.  My brother, for instance, would rather chew on a gym sock.  But, like I said, I crave garlic, and pesto's got it.  I like pesto on sandwiches, bruschetta, and of course, pasta.  I like pesto on anything because I like pesto!

But did you know?  The shape of the pasta matters!  For pesto, and other oily-type sauces, I prefer something short and tubular with ridges on it to catch the sauce, like penne or rigatoni, or something with texture like fussili (corkscrews) or farfalle (bowties).  For creamy pastas, like Spaghetti al Limone I prefer something long, like, well, spaghetti.  I think tomato sauce, and especially creamy tomato sauce is good on anything.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.



So, for this pesto pasta, I used fussili pasta.  I boiled some salted water and cooked the whole box of pasta per the package instructions.  Pesto sauce is one of the few sauces that shouldn't be cooked, so this recipe is super easy.  While the pasta was boiling I combined about a cup of prepared pesto, because I don't have a cuisin-art to make it from scratch (poor, poor me) and 1/4 cup of olive oil and whisked to combine.  I then added some halved grape tomatoes to the pesto.




When the pasta had about 3 minutes left to cook, I added some chopped up broccoli to the boiling water and cooked for the remaining time.  When the pasta and broccoli had finished cooking, I removed about 1/4 cup of the cooking water, then I drained and added to the pesto mixture and tossed to combine.  Add salt and pepper to taste and the extra cooking water to loosen it up a bit.  The hot pasta warms the pesto and causes the grape tomatoes to soften and semi-burst.  I threw in some Parmesan cheese, naturally, and served!




I love the contrast of the red tomatoes and the green broccoli and pesto sauce.  Beautiful and yummy.  And it took about 15 minutes to make.  Triple score. 

If you don't have time for a proper meal, you do.  Do this! 

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