Many of my friends will look at this post and be confused. “What? Danielle HATES sun dried tomatoes!” And it’s true, I do. Usually, they’re overpowering, oily, gummy, and just all-around unpleasant to me. That is, until I saw my boyfriend’s roommate, Joe, eating fettuccine with pesto, sun dried tomatoes and peas . It smelled so fragrant and looked delicious-the minty fresh basil pesto, the flecks of sweet red sun dried tomatoes and peas. I had to give it a try.
Fresh pesto is sooooo easy to make and store. It’s a great thing to have on-hand. I’m allergic to pine nuts, so this time instead of subbing in walnuts, I just went nutless. You can obviously throw in some nuts in your own pesto to give it more flavor and texture.
Instead of fettuccine, I used shells. I knew that the shells would hug the peas and sun dried tomatoes instead of getting lost at the bottom like it would with fettuccine. And peas look so cute nestled into those little pasta shells.
This is a wonderful, healthy, and light pasta dish that is great as a side, or tossed with chicken or shrimp for a main course. I could eat the whole pound of pasta myself!
Shells with Pesto, Peas and Sun Dried Tomatoes Serves 6
-1 lb. whole wheat medium pasta shells
-1 cup marinated sun dried tomatoes, chopped
-2/3 cup frozen peas, thawed in warm water
-11/2 cup pesto sauce (recipe follows)
-Salt and pepper to taste
-Parmesan for sprinkling
-When boiling water for the shells, make sure to generously salt the water. Cook pasta until al-dente. Drain and transfer shells to a large mixing bowl.
-While the pasta is still hot, add pesto, sun dried tomatoes, peas, salt, pepper, and parmesan. Serve with some fresh basil and an extra sprinkle of parmesan.
Nutless Basil Pesto (Makes more than you need for the pasta)
-2 large bunches of basil
-1 cup olive oil (add more if needed)
-1/2 cup parmesan cheese
-1 lg. clove raw garlic, roughly chopped
-Salt and pepper
Remove basil leaves and put them in a colander. Rinse and make sure to get any sand off of the leaves. Squeeze out basil in a paper towel, and add to a food processor or blender. Add oil and garlic to the basil, and blend. The mixture should look a little soupy. Add the parmesan, salt, and pepper, and blend again. Your pesto should thicken up with the cheese. Store in the fridge for a week.