Sunday, March 25, 2007

So Much For My Atkins Diet

I love pasta. I could eat it for every meal, and some days I do. I've grown a bit from my teenage days of pouring cold Prego right over hot noodles, but when I don't feel like spending a lot of time cooking, nothing beats a quick bowl of spaghetti with some olive oil and parmesan.
Anyone can boil noodles, so the key to good pasta is the sauce. My personal favorite is garlic oil, a can of diced tomatoes, and spices, but tonight I was in the mood for something different. After a couple of minutes of staring at everything in my refrigerator and pantry that I had ever considered putting on pasta, I had this week's recipe.

Rotini with Roasted Tomato Pesto
10-12 oven roasted tomatoes (slice roma tomatoes in half, toss with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and sugar, bake at 350° F for 3 hours)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup artichoke hearts
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup fresh basil (I was out, so I used a tablespoon of dried basil)
1 teaspoon sweet curry powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 pound rotini pasta
1/2 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper

Place first tomatoes, garlic, artichoke hearts, pine nuts, spices, and parmesan in food processor, adding salt and pepper to taste. Puree to a thick paste. While running the food processor, drizzle in olive oil.

Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook until al dente. Drain the noodles, reserving up to 1 cup of the pasta water.

Heat the cream over medium heat. Add the pesto to the cream and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Toss the pasta and pesto cream in a large serving bowl, adding pasta water if the mixture is too dry. Serves 6.


anne57 said...

Forget the carbs, the diet killing ingredient here would be the cream. When the total calories and the calories from fat are equal it's best not to ask how many servings of cream there are per portion of pasta; which is why this recipe probably tastes really great. It sounds like your kitchen and pantry could double as a gourmet food store though.

J. Bowman said...

You could use half-and-half (even the fat-free version), which is what I normally do. Or, you could probably skip the cream altogether; I used it mainly because I needed to get rid of the half-pint of cream in my fridge.

anne57 said...

Yeah, I've got most of a pint of cream in the fridge now, which was why I knew the fat content. I never have half-and-half though, since I don't drink coffee. The higher fat content usually tastes better for cooking though-not that it's good for you.