Guys, summer’s over, and my tomatoes are stubbornly refusing to ripen. I have two giant cherry tomato plants in my garden, one of the Sweet 100s variety and one pear-shaped yellow one. While they have just started to poke out their little green tomato fruits, they are stubbornly refusing to yield the sweet, ripe little flavor bombs I know must be coming. I’ve been waiting all summer to collect giant handfuls, quarter them, and throw them into some pasta with an amazing homemade pesto.
It’s times like these when I turn to sundried tomatoes packed in oil. Speaking of flavor bombs, these suckers add a burst of summer to any dish. I mostly use them in the winter, when I can’t find good cherry tomatoes anywhere, but it turns out they’re also good for assuaging tomato-induced frustration.
The great part is, the pesto is vegan and the pasta is gluten-free, so pretty much anyone can eat this — except the Paleo people, I guess, since the pasta I used has corn and quinoa in it. If you’re Paleo, you may want to use all of that zucchini you have laying around and make zoodles, then cover them with this sauce and chow the heck down. I was craving pasta, but zucchini would definitely make this even more summery.
You’ll only need half of the pesto this recipe makes for the sauce, so I highly recommend pretty much just spooning the remainder directly into your mouth. Or, you know. Saving it for something. Like turning into a vinaigrette and pouring over a Caprese salad like this one. YUM.
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1/4 cup raw cashews
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup olive oil, plus 2 tsp, divided
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon zest
- 2 cups dry gluten-free pasta (I used Ancient Harvest Quinoa pasta)
- pinch salt
- 1/3 cup sundried tomatoes packed in oil, chopped
- 2 Tbsp vegetable broth, water, or white wine (if needed)
- Put walnuts, toasted pine nuts, cashews, 2 cloves garlic, 1/2 cup olive oil, lemon juice and zest into a food processor and process until smooth. Add more oil if a thinner sauce is desired. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil. Add remaining olive oil, pasta and salt and cook until slightly less than al dente. Drain and set aside.
- In a medium skillet, heat sundried tomatoes in about 1 Tbsp of their own oil until soft and fragrant. Mince and add remaining garlic clove. Add pasta and stir to coat in the yummy, yummy oil. Add about half of the pesto, more if desired, and stir until heated through. If needed, use about 2 Tbsp of liquid to deglaze the pan and allow to reduce before removing pan from heat.
- Serve, sprinkled with extra lemon zest to make you feel like maybe there’s some Parmesan cheese in there. Enjoy.