Hope you are all well. Today I wanted to share with you a secret weapon I have in my freezer at all times- and that for me is “Trapanese Sauce”. If you love pesto, you will love this sauce. Similar to pesto with a few additions.
I always like to have a “stand by” recipe available for those nights when you just don’t feel like spending time cooking dinner but don’t want to order take-out. I always keep a bag of frozen tortellini or cavatelli and a pesto or trapanese sauce in the freezer.
Last night was one of those nights. I had taken meat out to defrost in the morning but by the time dinner came around, that was not what I was in the mood for so I boiled the frozen pasta and added some of the frozen trapanese sauce, a little grated cheese and within 20 minutes, dinner was on the table- hot and delicious. I served the pasta with homemade garlic bread and that completed the meal.Whenever I have an abundance of fresh, beautiful basil, I make pesto and trapanese sauce and put it in zip-lock bags laying flat (to save space) in the freezer for those no cook nights.
The trapanese sauce has almonds, grape tomatoes, and sun-dried tomatoes added to the basil. Here is the recipe, enjoy….
1 pint of cherry tomatoes
2 cups packed fresh basil
1/3 cup of whole almonds, lightly toasted – the skin can be on or off
2 – 3 garlic cloves
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper – to taste
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil
1/2 cup grated cheese
1 lb any pasta of your choice
Toast the almonds in a dry pan or on a cookie sheet at 350 degrees between 5-10 minutes, until just lightly toasted. Watch carefully, they can burn easily. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Rinse and pat dry the tomatoes and basil.
In a food processor, ADD the tomatoes, garlic, cooled almonds, basil, sun-dried tomatoes, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper and use short pulses until mixed well. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
While the food processor is still running, add the olive oil and form a creamy paste- Do not puree.
Put the pesto in a large bowl and taste for seasoning.
Generously salt the pasta water. Cook pasta 2 minutes under al dente as per package directions.
Save 1 cup of pasta water.
Drain the pasta and toss into the pesto. Toss quickly to coat, ADD the grated cheese and toss again. Add pasta water, 1 tbsp at a time to adjust consistency so that the pesto coats the pasta and is not too dry or too thick.
I serve the pasta immediately, but in can be served at room temperature.
Additional grated cheese can be added at the table. Garnish with fresh basil leaves.
Until my next post, make every day a celebration!
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