AFRICAN TOMATO NUT PESTO LINGUINI #4
Made with veggie pepperoni, garlic and extra virgin olive oil. Powerful flavors that pack a powerful pasta punch. Serve with red wine, beer or lemonade! This is my Vincent van Gogh of pesto pasta dishes. Rich, filling, satisfies on all levels.
3 oz. dried tomato halves soaked in 4 c. of very hot water till rehydrated – drained and cooled in refrigerator (I do this the day before to make it easier)
12 oz. box of DeCecco Lingine # 7 with Spinach, broken in half then cooked according to package instructions – make sure water is sufficiently salted
1/2, 4.2 oz. pkg. Yves Veggie Pepperoni (vegan)
10 fresh peeled whole garlic cloves
1 c. mixed nuts
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 t. finely ground fennel seed
1 t. dried oregano
2 t. smoked paprika
1 t. pink Himalayan salt
3/4 c. dry red wine – I used a Merlot
1 c. boiling pasta water
light sprinkling of red cayenne pepper
fresh grind black pepper to taste
1/2 c. additional hot pasta water
salt and pepper to taste if needed
26, or more if they’re small, red grape tomatoes cut in half from end to end
In food processor place chilled drained rehydrated tomato halves, veggie pepperoni, garlic cloves and mixed nuts. Process till lumpy.
Add olive oil, ground fennel seed, oregano, smoked paprika and salt. Process till mealy.
Add red wine. Process again.
Add boiling water, red cayenne pepper and black pepper. Process again till smoother.
Now add 1/2 c. additional boiling water and process till as smooth as you can get it. We don’t want an overly thick pesto – it will be too rich.
To serve: Drain pasta well in colander and place in extra-large bowl.
Add fresh tomato halves, then toss to distribute.
Now add all of pesto. Toss to evenly coat without smashing the pasta too much.
Transfer to serving platter and serve.
Notes: If making the pesto ahead of time, before cooking the pasta, then use plain boiling water instead of the pasta water.
I serve this pesto pasta hot, at room temperature or cold.