Sundried Tomato and Cashew Pesto with Broccoli and Pasta

I envy people who go into the kitchen, measuring and laying out the ingredients they would use for a dish, armed with a printed recipe to refer to. I am not that person, and in a way I am glad I am not. Even when I follow a recipe, I add my own touches to the dish and there are times when I get into the kitchen with just an idea in mind and just throw things together, and those times are when I have made some really innovative and tasty dishes in my kitchen. This is one such dish.

I made a spicy sun dried tomato pesto with cashews and red chillies, tossed with feta, whole grain fusili and some broccoli. Beautiful, healthy and tasty. Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:
1 box wholegrain fusili pasta
1 head broccoli, broken into florets
3 garlic cloves
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
3 dried red chillies
1/4 cup cashews
1 tsp italian seasoning
1/2 cup feta cheese
1/2 cup cream
salt to taste

Method:
Cook the pasta in plenty of salted boiling water until a little shy of al dente. Place the garlic, sun dried tomatoes, cashews and chillies in a bowl. Remove about 1/2 cup of the hot boiling water and pour it into the bowl. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and let it steep for about 20 minutes. Place the broccoli florets in a colander and pour the pasta over the broccoli to drain the pasta. Let it cool.

When the 20 minutes have passed, place the sun dried tomatoes, chillies, garlic, chillies and the warm water in a blender along with a pinch of salt and the italian seasoning. Blend until thick. Remove the pesto and toss it with the pasta, the broccoli and the feta cheese and some cream to thin the pesto and make the sauce moist. Taste for seasoning. You may serve this as is.

I assembled this earlier in the morning and so I baked it up in a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes until warm. This is optional, it does melt the feta cheese and brings it together I believe.

Verdict: The sauce was spicy, thick and perfect. The broccoli was cooked perfectly and the feta cheese added a nice salty bite.
This will be my entry to ‘Presto Pasta Nights #191’ hosted at my blog.
Also sending this to ‘Healing foods – Broccoli’ , an event series started by Siri and ‘Food Palette – red event’

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