Pasta and salads such as this sun dried tomato pesto recipe are two things I don't often post for healthy vegan recipes because they are the stereotypical vegan meals. There is a whole world of delicious and healthy vegan meals outside of pasta and salads, but you know what?
Every so often pasta just really hits the spot, especially when tomatoes are fresh. You might even be tempted to eat this with a salad.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 35 minutes
Time from start to eating: 45 minutes
Makes enough for 2-3 large servings.
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This transcription will have some mistakes because it is partially automated.
Hello and welcome to Freshly Served, the healthy vegan cooking show. I’m Heather and tonight we’re gonna make a pasta dish with a sun dried tomato pesto along with some lettuce and some tomatoes.
Now to start I’m going to get the pasta cooking because that is actually the longest step of our meal which is great! Pasta dishes are nice, light, very easy to do so I’ve got a pot of water here, getting it ready to boil, putting a lid on your pot really helps to make it faster. Putting salt in the water is to help the cooking process of the pasta not to help the water boil faster.
So as soon as it gets up to a boil I’m gonna throw in my whole grain pasta noodles, in the meantime what I’ve done is I’m using some sun dried tomatoes in this recipe and I like to use the kind that are dried, not the kind that are packed in oil.
I find that these ones have more flavor but they’re very tough so if you want to soften them up a little bit just soak them in some water for a little while, fifteen minutes is fine and they’ll be nice and soft in no time.
I’ve got a bunch of tomatoes that I’m gonna use in pesto and then I’ve got another little handful of tomatoes that I’m just going to chopped into chunks that I will put right into the pasta for some additional yumminess.
Now I also got some fresh tomatoes and this recipe would be ideal with cherry tomatoes but unfortunately I couldn’t get my hands on any so I’m using some just regular tomatoes but if you have cherry tomatoes in your yard or you can find it in the market or a store excellent!
Just slice those cherry tomatoes in half, if you’re using full tomatoes I’m gonna diced mine. I like to have some nice small chunks and there’s a knife that is actually made to cut tomatoes and the reason you want to use this is because it’s just very slightly serrated along the edge meaning it has grooves in it.
And what those grooves are gonna do are pierce the skin of the tomatoes without squishing it. If you ever had difficulty cutting tomatoes might be the knife because a flat blade knife has difficulty getting through the very thin delicate skin of a tomato without squishing the delicate inners of the tomato.
And what else? Oh! I’ve got some pecans that I have toasted and I’m gonna use half of them in the pesto and then again half are going to go straight into the pasta. Toasting them lightly in the toaster oven or in the oven, great way to bring out the flavor of nut as supposes to just using them raw.
One of the few recipes where I’m actually using a piece of equipment, a food processor, you can also use a blender, hand blender or if you’re really stuck you can just put all of the ingredients together and not make a pesto out of it.
But what I’m gonna do is throw in the large chunks of sun dried tomato that I have in a quarter cup of water which was part of the recipe. I use that quarter cup to soften up my tomatoes so now I’m gonna throw that water right into the food processor so that any flavor that came out of the tomatoes is still in my pesto.
I’m also gonna put in about a quarter cup of olive oil, when I’m not cooking with oil, I’m not too concerned about how much I use although obviously I don’t ever use too much but I definitely use a little bit more in a dressing than I would when soothing vegetables.
Last but not least I’ve got some toasted pecans here, this is about a quarter cup. I’m gonna use half of these in the pesto the other half are going whole into the pasta.
So blend that up, sometimes you have to scrape it around to make sure it all gets blended. You’re looking for a fairly smooth consistency like this. I find sun dried tomatoes quite salty on their own so I don’t add any salt to this pesto.
But some black pepper is always nice and you can just give it one last shot with the food processor just kinda stir it around. Wait! This water is taking forever, it’s not boiling yet. Gotta wait for it to come to a full boil before you add your pasta and I’m using some kamut pasta, there’s a wide variety of whole grain pastas now available rather than just a whole wheat.
Kamut is a little bit lighter, spelt pastas are lovely. I heard that there are even some pastas made out of beans so if you want to get an even higher protein content go for that.
While I wait I’m going to chop up my tomatoes and I’ll show you what I mean with the knife. So to any of you, who had trouble cutting your tomatoes with just a flat knife like this, see how when I cut it, Oh! These tomatoes are kind of firm and not really too ripe so I didn’t have much problem but it doesn’t grabbed the skin whereas if I use a knife like this, it grabs the skin as it goes and is a lot softer cutting up a tomato. This is why, this knife says on it, tomato!
Yeah! The water is boiling! Ok! So half the pack is plenty for two people and that’s for me and Phil and Phil eat a lot so you shouldn’t need more than half a pack for two people.
Just sprinkle a little bit of salt in the water that is just to help the cooking process of the noodles and then if you cover it back up, the pot will need less energy to keep it boiling.
When you pour the pasta in it will break the boil a little bit because you’re adding some cool grains to the pot but it should come back to a boil very quickly at that point you can turn it down a little bit so that it doesn’t boil over.
Pasta usually takes about 15 minutes to cook, maybe a little bit less. What you do is you want to test your pasta, just take one out, eat it and cook it until it’s at the texture that you like.
Al dente is a little bit undercooked which is what the usual standard to strive for is and what it means is that it’s still a little bit firm, the pastas is not falling apart it’s so cooked and I’m pretty much there so I’m going to turn that off, stir in this.
For those of you who have heard Barney’s version by Mordecai Richler, you strained pasta with a colander so just toss your pasta in the colander let it drain and dry off a little bit in this bowl I’ve got some lettuce, I’ve got tomato and I’ve got my - the rest of my chopped toasted pecans.
Once your pasta is dried to your liking, you can just toss it right in the bowl and then get your pesto. So give the pesto a toss through here and then I’m just cutting up the other sun dried tomatoes that I almost forgot about.
I find that chopping them with a knife is very frustrating coz they’re a little bit stiff so I used my kitchen scissors just make sure you use scissors but they’re not the same ones that you use for your ordinary household tasks. You probably don’t want a chunk of paper in your dinner.
So we’re all set to go, I’m just going to put this on my plate here and I’m gonna top mine of with a little bit of alfalfa sprouts just because I have some beautiful fresh ones in the kitchen that Phil made.
There you are! A pasta with sun dried tomato sauce, sun dried tomato pesto sauce. Anyway! You can find the recipe at HealthyVeganRecipes.net. I’m Heather and this is Freshly Served.