Fusilli with Roasted Tomato & Basil Pesto is an Italian main-course dish (Entree) comprising of pasta mixed with a sauce called Pesto & garnished with cheese. My hubby & me totally love the classic pesto made using Basil, but a step ahead in combining the basil & roasted tomatoes resulted in even more awesome & yummy pesto. The combination of tangy tomatoes & sweet basil really blends well.
Pesto is quite similar to our Indian chutneys - grinding all ingredients together to get a coarsely/smoothly ground paste. In Italy, traditionally the pesto is made by grounding all ingredients in a mortar using circular motion of the pestle. But now a days many use food processors, mixers to make things faster as I did for this recipe. Roasted Tomato & Basil Pesto goes fantastic with Pasta as well as spread for your bread or even great as a dip with chips. Pesto can be stored for weeks in refrigerator making it perfectly suitable for busy days or even otherwise when we want something delicious yet quick. Boil the pasta mix the pesto & voila you are ready with a delicious lunch/dinner.
Want to try the classic Pesto using only Basil - See my recipe, Linguine with Pesto & Roasted Tomatoes
Now to the recipe...
1 Packet of Fusilli pasta (or any pasta of your choice)
1 cup of fresh Basil leaves
1 cup of Roasted Tomatoes
¼ cup of pine nuts
2 cloves of garlic
juice of half lemon
½ cup of shredded/grated cheese called Parmigiano Reggiano
¼ cup of olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
For Making Roasted Tomato & Basil Pesto :
Roast the pine nuts on low flame till they slightly brown. Nuts have a natural tendency to secret oil so when we roast them they will release oil which helps during pesto preparation.
In a food processor/mixer add the basil leaves, roasted tomatoes, garlic, roasted pine nuts, lemon juice, salt & pepper & grind to a rough/coarse paste. Now slowly add Olive oil, tbsp or two at a time & keep blending till you get a smooth paste of desired consistency. Ensure to keep the consistency thick & not too runny else the sauce wont cling to your pasta. Now, empty the pesto into a bowl & add half the quantity (¼ cup) of Parmigiano Reggiano, mix well.
That's it our Roasted Tomato & Basil Pesto is ready. If you want to prepare pesto for storing/using later, keep consistency slightly thick & instead add a layer of olive oil on top before closing the air-tight jar & refrigerating it. This will help to preserve the pesto for longer.
For Fusilli with Roasted Tomato & Basil Pesto:
Boil the Fusilli pasta as per package instructions, drain the pasta water reserving half cup of this starchy water which we can use to adjust the pesto consistency (if required).
Now add the roasted tomatoes & Basil Pesto along with remaining half cheese to the cooked Fusilli. Add starchy water if required to adjust the consistency & Mix well. As soon as the pesto comes in contact with the warm pasta you will get a nice aroma.
That's it our Fusilli with Roasted Tomato & Basil Pesto is ready. Serve it hot topped with some more Parmigiano Reggiano. Enjoy!!