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Pasta With Roasted Tomatoes And Walnut Pesto

July 22, 2016

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A seasonal pesto is perfect for a quick weeknight meal or casual entertaining. In this recipe the walnuts add an earthy flavor to a dish that is rich with sweet, smokey roasted tomatoes. Charred corn and basil add an additional taste of summer.  Arugula greens with shaved parmesan, drizzled with olive oil and balsamic round out the perfect summer meal.

Pasta With Roasted Tomatoes And Walnut Pesto
Servings 4
⅔ cup walnuts
2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons plus ⅓ cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Kosher salt
6 oil-packed anchovies, coarsely chopped (optional)
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
½ ounces Parmesan, finely grated (about ½ cup), plus more for serving
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
12 ounces spaghetti
½ cup (packed) basil leaves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toast walnuts on a baking sheet, tossing once, until slightly darkened, 8–10 minutes. Let cool.
Heat broiler. Toss tomatoes with 2 Tbsp. oil on a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt. Broil, tossing once, until tomatoes are blistered and have released some of their liquid, 5–7 minutes. Let cool.
Pulse anchovies, garlic, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, and ½ oz. Parmesan in a food processor until finely ground. Add walnuts and half of tomatoes, then, with motor running, stream in ⅓ cup oil; process just until combined. Season with salt. Transfer pesto to a large bowl and stir in black pepper.
Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring until al dente. Drain, reserving ½ cup pasta cooking liquid.
Transfer pasta to bowl with pesto and add a splash of pasta cooking liquid. Toss, adding more cooking liquid as needed, until sauce coats pasta. Add basil and remaining tomatoes.
Divide among bowls, top with more Parmesan, black pepper and drizzle with oil.
Pesto can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.
Adapted from: Bon Appétit and A Life From Scratch

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