15 Aug Heirloom Tomato Pasta with Hazelnut Arugula Pesto (Vegan, Vegetarian)
Heirloom Tomato Pasta with Hazelnut Arugula Pesto
Heirloom tomatoes are finally in season and the farmers market is bursting at the seams with seemingly endless varieties. Heirlooms are just as they sound, tomatoes grown from seeds saved and passed down through generations. The resulting flavor has one common thread: tomatoes that actually taste like tomatoes (not that lifeless cold grocery store variety you find year-round). The taste is so incredible you can do absolutely nothing with them and have a feast (my favorite way to eat them is sliced and sprinkled with a bit of sea salt). This recipe, developed for Pasta.com, celebrates the summer freshness of local organic heirlooms, only cooked long enough to warm them so they don't break down and we can still see the beautiful colors and taste the fresh texture. I combined them with a only a few simple fresh market ingredients so as to not overwhelm the inherent flavor and beauty of the tomatoes, and paired it all with my favorite comfort food: pasta (I used fresh rigatoni noodles from my favorite Italian grocer, Bay Cities). This deliciously simple summer pasta dish features some beautiful multicolored basil and three heirloom tomato varieties I procured this week from the Santa Monica Farmers Market: green zebra, black russian, and speckled roman (but feel free to substitute your favorite!) xo, Stephanie
- 1 Package of your favorite pasta, fresh or dried (I used Rigatoni)
- Kosher Salt
- 2 Green Zebra Tomatoes, chopped
- 4 Black Russian Tomatoes, chopped
- 2 Speckled Roman Tomatoes, chopped
- 10 Large Italian Green Basil Leaves, Chiffonaded
- 10 Large Purple Basil Leaves, Chiffonaded
Vegan Arugula Hazelnut Pesto
- 2 Cups Wild Arugula
- 1/2 Cup Toasted Hazelnuts
- 1/2 Cup Good Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 3 Cloves Fresh Garlic, rough chopped
- 1/4 Cup of Fresh Parsley
- 1/4 Cup Fresh Basil, roughly Chopped
- Salt to Taste
- Combine garlic, hazelnuts, and half the arugula in your food processor, pulse until a coarse paste is formed. Add the remaining ingredients and blend into a smooth sauce.
- Boil pasta in salted water (remember, it should taste salty like the sea!) according to package instructions, and when it is 1 minute shy of being done, drain and reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water.
- On low heat, add 1 cup of pesto (save extra for spreading on sandwiches or using in a caprese salad later!) and the 1/4 cup of pasta water and stir to combine. Cook for about 1 minute, then stir in tomatoes and 3/4 of each type of basil. Cook one more minute then spoon onto plates or a big family style bowl. Top with remaining basil and Parmesan cheese (optional) and enjoy!
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