‘Cappelletti’ are small hat shaped pasta, that is very similar to its stuffed cousin toretlloni. I found it as an interesting shape and picked it up from Costco last week. Thinking of what sauce to toss it in, I remembered I had bookmarked a Sundried Tomato Pesto recipe by Giada. I absolutely love the tartness and the mild sweetness from the sundried tomatoes and always have a jar of oil packed sundried tomatoes on hand. The oil packed version of sundried tomatoes works really well in this recipe, coss you don’t have to add any additional oil while making the pesto.
I have tweaked the original recipe from Giada, by adding some toasted almonds while making the pesto. The almonds add a very nice buttery nutty flavor to the pesto. It is a great addition of protein to the meal, coss it is just pasta tossed in the pesto. Makes it very filling too.
1 cup oil packed sun dried tomatoes
1 cup basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/3 cup whole almonds
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
salt, to taste
In a skillet over medium heat, toast the almonds until fragrant and slightly browned. Remove, let cool and chop coarsely. Place the almonds, sundried tomatoes, basil leaves, garlic and red pepper flakes in the blender and pulse, until everything comes together. Add the parmesan cheese and blend to combine. You may stream in extra olive oil if the consistency doesnt look right to you. I thinned the pesto with pasta water, and hence kept it sort of thick.
Boil the pasta in plenty of salted water, until al dente. Reserve about a 1/4 cup of the pasta water and drain the pasta. Toss the pasta with the sundried tomato pesto while drizzling with the reserved pasta water. Serve with shaved parmesan and a sprig of basil for garnish.
Verdict: Love how easy it is to make a fresh sauce for pasta, as opposed to breaking open a jar of premade sauce. The sundried tomatoes adds a tangy, sweet taste, balanced by the rich buttery taste from the almonds and the mild heat from the garlic and pepper flakes. The basil cuts through the richness with its peppery, lemony flavors and really brings the dish to life.Pin It