Saturday, July 7, 2012

Sunflower Seeds Pesto with Penne

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
Pesto sauce has been on my mind lately ever since I realized that basil leaves are very cheap in our local grocery stores here in the city. One problem is the lack of walnuts or even more importantly, pine nuts, a crucial ingredient in making pesto. As an alternative, I looked around for recipes of pesto sauces using sunflower seeds and I was surprised that it was actually not a far off idea. Thus, I decided to go ahead and give it a go to use up all of my basil leaves. I also splurged a bit and used part of the required olive oil and compensated with white truffle oil. The resulting pasta dish is quite a simple dish yet tasty and might I add, healthy.

Sunflower Seeds Pesto with Penne

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
2 cups basil leaves
2 tbsp roasted sunflower
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/3 cup Pecorino Romano,
1/4 cup extra virgin olive
1/4 cup white truffle oil
1 lb dried penne
salt and pepper

1. Cook penne as per
    packet instructions.

2. In a mortar, grind the basil leaves with a pinch of salt. Process with 
    the pestle until ground coarsely. You may have to do this in batches.

3. Add the garlic and sunflower seeds and process with the pestle. Add
    the olive oil gradually until a paste is formed.

4. Add the grated cheese and process into the mix. Cover with clingfilm
    until the pasta is cooked to al dente.

5. Once the pasta is ready, drain and toss with the pesto paste. Add the
    truffle oil and check the seasoning with salt and pepper.

6. Top with more grated cheese if desired and drizzle with more truffle
    oil before serving.

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