Those of you who regularly read and vote for my recipes (thank you, friends!) will probably have noticed a recurring sun-dried tomatoes theme in the ingredients. I discovered them fairly recently and I have become a bit addicted to them, which is why they keep finding their way into my cooking! That's how this recipe came about: I had half a jar of the sun-dried tomato paste to use up, and it occurred to me it would be a great quick meal to make it into a vegan red pesto, and serve with spaghetti.
As is usually the case with my impromptu dishes, I already had all the other ingredients at home, in my cupboard, and the basil came from the plant on my kitchen mantelpiece. It's so quick – you can either just put it all in your blender, or it doesn't take long to chop and mash by hand, as I did ( because I can't always be bothered to wash the blender out afterwards!) I toast the pine-nuts, which gives it that little extra je-ne-sais-quoi. It makes a ridiculously tasty pesto sauce, which you can serve with pasta, bread, vegetables...Anything you like really, very versatile and dee-lish-us!!
Ingredients (Makes about 2 servings of pesto sauce )
⅔ cup/150 g sun-dried tomato paste, or sun-dried tomatoes in oil, mashed
1 clove garlic, minced
1 large handful of fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
100g/½ cup pine-nuts, toasted
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 ½ teaspoons of nutritional yeast
1) Toast the pine-nuts in a dry pan until lightly browned.
2) Chop the basil leaves and garlic clove finely, and mash the sun-dried tomatoes into a puree, if using whole ones.
3) Add pine-nuts and mix and pound all ingredients in a large bowl until you get a paste.
4) Alternatively, skip steps 2) and 3) and put everything in a blender and whiz it round for about a minute, until it forms the pesto paste. Done!
If you have any over (after you have finished smothering your pasta, bread, etc. with it and pigging out!) it will keep in a closed jar in the fridge for about 7 days.
Enjoy, let me know what you think! Your votes and comments are much appreciated.
Photo courtesy of www.culinary-delights.blogspot.co.uk