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Orecchiette with Puttanesca Pesto

As promised, this “Tester Recipe Tuesday” post contains more tester photos from my new book, Quick-Fix Vegan (released last week), as well as one of my favorite recipes from the book. If you follow my blog, you know that I’m addicted to the flavors of puttanesca — garlic, olives, capers, tomatoes, and basil.  In addition to regular pasta puttanesca, I’ve made a puttanesca pizza, puttanesca tofu scramble, and more.  So it should come as no surprise that I’ve included a recipe for puttanesca pesto in Quick-Fix Vegan.   
The recipe for Orecchiette with Puttanesca Pesto (photo above) is included at the end of this post.  This recipe was a “tester favorite” and the luscious pesto can be used on more than just pasta.  Try it on baked potatoes, tossed with couscous or rice, spread on toasted sliced baguette, or baked in little puff pastry bites.  One recipe tester mixed some with mashed avocado and used it as a dip for olive and caper tortilla chips. Yum.
Another tester favorite from Quick-Fix Vegan is this Mac and Cheeseburger Bake, satisfying comfort food that can be assembled in minutes and baked when you’re ready to eat.  FYI, Quick-Fix Vegan contains one chapter of easy make-ahead bakes — sometimes having a casserole assembled in the fridge ready to pop in the oven can be the quickest fix of all!
This Lemon-Cashew Cream Sauce has it all: quick and easy to make, versatile, and absolutely delicious.  Shown here over roasted Brussels sprouts, this sauce is also great over other vegetables, cooked grains, bean patties, or tossed with pasta.
If you’re already enjoying Quick-Fix Vegan, I hope you’ll help spread the word.  A review on your blog and/or Amazon would be most appreciated.  Now here’s that recipe:
Orecchiette with Puttanesca Pesto
It’s no secret that puttanesca sauce is my favorite way to enjoy pasta.  But I like pesto, too. With this lush puttanesca pesto, now I can enjoy them both at the same time, and in the time it takes to cook the pasta, the pesto is finished and food processor cleaned.  If orrechiette (little ears) are unavailable, use your favorite pasta instead – medium pasta shells are a good choice. For a “saucier” pesto, add up to 1/2 cup of the hot pasta water to the pesto after processing. This recipe is from Quick-Fix Vegan by Robin Robertson © 2011. Published by Andrews McMeel Publishing.
12 ounces orrechiette
5 garlic cloves
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
1/3 cup pitted green olives
1 fresh ripe tomato, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons capers
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and black pepper
Cook the orrechiette in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 10 minutes.  While the pasta is cooking, place the garlic in a blender or food processor and process until finely minced.  Add both kinds of olives, both kinds of tomatoes, parsley, basil, capers, and oil and process until smooth.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  When the pasta is cooked drain it and return to the pot.  Add the pesto and toss to combine.  Serve hot.
Serves 4