Sunday, July 27, 2008

Remembering Sher of What Did You Eat? Pasta with Arugula Pesto and Tomatoes

arugula pesto pasta with tomatoes

Last weekend, the food blogging community was saddened to learn that a dear food blogger and friend, Sher of What Did You Eat?, had suddenly passed away.

In her memory, bloggers are making and posting one of Sher's recipes today, and her close friend, Glenna from A Fridge Full of Food, is collecting the links at her site so that Sher's family can read all of the tributes.

My heartfelt sympathies are with Sher's family and friends during this difficult time. Sher will be missed.

I chose this pasta dish because it's indicative of the type of recipes Sher posted: it's simple to make and simply delicious.

Pasta with Arugula Pesto and Tomatoes
from Williams Sonoma Savoring Series, Savoring Italy
Serves 4-6
Print recipe only here.

6 oz. arugula, tough stems removed (about 4 cups)
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/4 cup walnuts
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus extra for garnish
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved, or chopped large tomatoes
1 pound pasta

In a food processor, combine the arugula, parsley, walnuts and garlic. Process using short rapid on-off pulses until the mixture is finely chopped, 15 to 20 times. Add the grated cheese, salt and pepper. With the machine running, gradually add the olive oil in a steady stream and process until smooth. (Add additional water or olive if necessary.) Set aside.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot three-fourths full of water to a boil over high heat. Salt generously and add the pasta. Cook, stirring frequently, until al dente (tender but firm to the bite). Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking water.

Place the pasta in a large warmed serving bowl along with the pesto. Toss well, adding the reserved pasta water as needed to thin the sauce. Add the tomatoes and toss again. Garnish with cheese and serve immediately.

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