To swirl garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan and fresh basil through its blades for pesto, my blender demands too much oil. Maybe a food processor is more efficient – don't have one – you tell me. Anyway...instead I mince by hand. It's not hard. Really. And it's oh so satisfying to toss hot penne rigate with homemade pesto, red onions for crunch, and grape tomatoes for their burst of sweetness.
Notice in this recipe I forgo my usual practice of using half whole-wheat penne rigate/half regular penne rigate. A health sacrifice so as not to muddy my basil green palette.
Penne in a Pesto Sauce with Red Onion and Grape Tomatoes
4 cups penne rigate
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups loosely packed fresh basil, minced
1/4 cup pine nuts, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
I cup thinly sliced red onion
1 cup grape tomatoes, the larger ones halved
Cook the penne rigate. In the meantime, stir together the Parmesan, garlic, fresh basil, pine nuts and olive oil. Salt to taste. Drain the pasta and toss with the red onion, grape tomatoes, and pesto. Serves 4.