Not sure how we made it so fast to the end of May, but here we are! And the last Monday of the month brings with it the Reveal Day for The Secret Recipe Club. Bloggers are paired in secret, stalk each other’s site for a nice recipe, and blog about it on the same day. This month I was paired with Erin, from The Spiffy Cookie. She is a graduate student working on her PhD in Microbiology and that immediately puts us both in a similar page. Granted, I probably had my PhD before she was born, but still… I know what it takes and how frustrating it can be to get there. As I always say to the students in the lab, “science is not for sissies“. But, I digress. I spent quite a bit of time on her site, tempted by many of her recipes. A few examples for you: Chicken Burgers with Garlic & Rosemary Yogurt, Apple Oatmeal Breakfast Muffins, Nutella Mousse (that almost made my final cut), and Nutella-Swirled Banana Bread Snack Cake (do I need to say anything more?). But, in the end, my heart was set on Penne with Trapanese Pesto, because it seemed like the type of recipe Phil and I would love. Plus, the almonds in the sauce take me to a Persian aura that is quite welcome in our kitchen these days. So, without further ado, my contribution to the SRC this month…
(photo kindly optimized by an angel called Sawsan…)
PENNE WITH TRAPANESE PESTO
(slightly adapted from The Spiffy Cookie)
2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes
1/3 cup almonds, lightly toasted
1 clove garlic
12 basil leaves
1-2 anchovies filets (or to taste)
2 tsp capers
1 pinch crushed red pepper
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound whole wheat penne pasta
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
In a food processor, combine the tomatoes, almonds, garlic, basil, anchovies, capers, crushed red pepper, cheese, and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Pulse a few times to get it going. With the motor running, add the oil in a thin stream. Taste it. Add a little more salt if needed.
Meanwhile, cook your pasta in a large pot of salted water until al dente. Drain and return to pot. Pour the pesto over the pasta and toss to combine. Store whatever is left in a sealed container in the fridge for a week. Serve with more cheese and basil.
to print the recipe, click here
Comments: I made two small modifications in the recipe, adding capers and anchovies to the pesto. Now, for those who personally know me, it will be shocking to learn I added anchovies were anchovies were not called for. Yes, indeed, I don’t like anchovies, but have been working on improving our relationship. For one of those virtual coincidences, a food blog I recently fell in love with (Chef Mimi Blog) had a post on Trapanese Pesto, and she added anchovies. Being a certified anchovy-wimp, I added only 1 small filet, carrying it with the tip of the fork, arm extended as far as I could to avoid its pungent aroma… :-) Capers seemed like a natural partner for all other ingredients, so into the pesto they went.
This was a delicious meal! For my taste, Trapanese pesto beats the Genovese by a long shot. Less oily, less pungent. The recipe made more sauce than needed for our pasta dinner, leftovers will keep in the fridge for a few days.
Erin, it was great to stalk your blog for recipes and get to know your site better (although I’ve visited your blog many times before) through this month’s adventure with SRC. For those who want to see the full collection of recipes posted by members of our group, click on the funky frog and have fun!
ONE YEAR AGO: Superman
TWO YEARS AGO: Spring Pasta
THREE YEARS AGO: Ice Cream Melts for Mango