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Fusilli with Sun-dried Tomato Pesto

Spiral pasta called fusilli, tossed in a subtle blend of sun-dried tomatoes, pine kernels, garlic, parmesan cheese and olive oil.


Vegetarian Italian Cooking

Change Number of Servings To:

Serves: 4 
Cooking time (approx.):  minutes
Style: Italian Vegetarian


2  cup(s) uncooked fusilli pasta
2  tablespoon(s) olive oil
1  cup(s) sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil drained and sliced
4  tablespoon(s) pine nuts or walnuts toasted till aromatic
2  teaspoon(s) finely chopped or grated garlic
1  cup(s) sliced mushrooms
1  cup(s) grated parmesan or romano cheese
2  tablespoon(s) cream
salt, and freshly ground black pepper to taste
grated parmesan cheese to garnish

  1. Cook the Fusilli pasta in a pot of boiling salted water for about 8 minutes or till tender but just underdone. Drain and refresh in cold water. Drain well and toss in a little hot butter in a pan. Keep warm.
  2. Blend half the quantity of sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil and parmesan cheese with some salt till very fine pieces but not smooth.
  3. For the sun-dried tomato pesto, heat the remaining olive oil in a pan and fry the pine nuts or walnuts till golden. Stir in the remaining sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms and garlic. Saute on medium heat for about 3  minutes.
  4. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the sun-dried tomato paste along with the cream. Cook on very low heat for about 2  minutes or till it just begins to boil. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. At serving time, toss the fusilli in the hot sun-dried pesto along with the parmesan cheese till well heated through.

    TIPS:

  • To make a spicy sauce add red chilli flakes.
  • Vegetables of your choice can be blanched and tossed along with the pasta and sauce.
  • It is important to cook the pasta till it is almost cooked or till just underdone. Refresh any form of cooked pasta in cold water so that they do not become sticky. Drain the cold water and coat the pasta with a drop or two of oil. Alternatively, toss in some melted butter tillheated through. This will help separate them out.
  • It is always advisable to do the mixing of pasta and sauce at serving time only. If done in advance, the pasta tends to get sticky and soggy as it absorbs the sauce.
  • Cream should always be mixed in and cooked on very low heat to avoid curdling.
  • Any cheese favorable to individual taste can be used.

Serve hot topped with: grated parmesan cheese

 
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