Fusilli with Spinach and Sun-Dried-Tomato Pesto
- 3/4 cup pine nuts
- 15 drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, 5 of them chopped
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
- 1 pound fusilli
- 1/4 pound spinach leaves, shredded (about 2 cups)
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes (about 6 ounces)
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- 1. In a small frying pan, toast the pine nuts over moderately low heat, stirring frequently, until golden brown, about 5 minutes; remove from the pan. Or toast the pine nuts in a 350° oven for 5 to 10 minutes.
- 2. In a blender or food processor, put 1/4 cup of the pine nuts, the whole sun-dried tomatoes, the oil, water, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Puree until smooth.
- 3. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the fusilli until just done, about 13 minutes. Drain. Rinse with cold water and drain thoroughly.
- 4. In a large glass or stainless-steel bowl, toss the pasta with the remaining 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, the pesto, the chopped sun-dried tomatoes, the spinach, cherry tomatoes, and Parmesan.
- Variations: · Use chopped walnuts instead of pine nuts.: · Add half a cup of roughly chopped pitted black olives to the salad.
- Wine Recommendation: There are seven different subzones within the Chianti growing area, among them the famed Classico. The best choice for this pasta, however, would be a Chianti from Rufina, where the wines are crisper, with more vibrant fruitiness.
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