From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Summer in the Pacific Northwest is a particularly lovely season. The rains stop and temperatures moderate, rarely reaching the highs experienced in other areas of the country. Fair winds bring blue skies and balmy breezes blow inland from the sea. Ease and comfort reign under a just right sun. The frenetic must do, must go pace of winter eases to the rhythm of a summer waltz. We move outdoors. There are trails and tides to be seen and alfresco meals in need of testing. While not abandoned, the stove is definitely neglected as meals are simplified and the deck and grill become the summer kitchen. For better or worse, what we eat and where we eat it change for the season. I still experiment, but fast and light assume an importance that is not seen in my winter kitchen. This pasta dish is fairly typical of the meals I make at this time of year. While it is simple to make, it bursts with flavor that's not been sacrificed for the sake of ease. The ingredients, save for basil, can always be found in the pantry, and, fortunately, for the next few months, there'll be basil aplenty in the garden. You can have this on the table in 30 minutes. I think those of you who try this will really be pleased. It is strongly flavored but not overwhelming. Here's the recipe.
Whole Wheat Pasta with Walnut and Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by a recipe originally appearing in Taste of Home Magazine
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
1/2 cup boiling water
12 ounces uncooked whole wheat spaghetti
2 cups loosely packed basil leaves
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 garlic clove, peeled
1/3 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
Optional garnish: Finely chopped walnuts and sun-dried tomatoes
1) Place tomatoes in a small bowl and cover with boiling water.Let stand for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, cook spaghetti according to package directions.
2) Place basil, Parmesan cheese and garlic in a food processor; cover and pulse until chopped. Add tomatoes with soaking liquid, broth, walnuts, salt and pepper; cover and process until blended. While processing, gradually add oil in a steady stream.
3) Drain spaghetti; toss with pesto. Serve immediately. Yield: 6 servings.
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