Tomato Pesto!!!! Basil is just a garnish and not even necessary in this wonderful pasta dish. Lovely for summer nights and perfect for the colder seasons as well. Pretty easy to prep, you’ll need a food processor for this one.
Easy obtainable ingredients.
2/3 cups walnuts
2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup olive oil
6 oil-packed anchovies, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup Parmesan, finely grated (about 1/2 cup), plus more for serving
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 box spaghetti, use any type you prefer , I prefer a long spaghetti type of pasta
Fresh Basil for sprinkling garnish* optional
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Toast walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing once until slightly darkened, app. 10 minutes but check on them after 8 minutes–don’t want to burn the nuts. Set aside to cool.
Heat the broiler. Toss tomatoes with 2 Tbsp. of oil on a rimmed baking sheet; season with some salt. Broil tossing once . I broiled until tomatoes started to blister and released some of their juices. App. 6-9 minutes. Let cool.
In the food processor fitted with metal blade pulse the anchovies, garlic, lemon zest, red pepper flakes and 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese until finely ground. Add the walnuts and half of the tomatoes, then with motor running stream in 1/3 cup of olive oil; process until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Cook pasta according to the box directions for al dente. Drain and reserve 1 cup of pasta water.
Transfer pasta to a large bowl add the pesto and add a splash of pasta water. Toss adding more cooking liquid as needed, until sauce coats pasta. Add basil if you’d like and remaining tomatoes.
*Pesto can be made 1 day ahead. Keep in fridge.