Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Capellini with Moroccan Style Sundried Tomato Pesto

Capellini (angel hair) pasta is one of my favorite types of pasta. I like its texture much better than spaghetti or linguini - there is less to it so I get more taste of the sauce.

This past weekend I bought a classic Moroccan cookbook, Paula Wolfert's Couscous and Other Good Food from Morocco and have been devouring it as I do all great cookbooks. While there are plenty of recipes, she also gives tremendous details about the culture, history and markets of Morocco and I am eating it up!

Inspired by my reading I decided to make a quick variation of pesto rosso, substituting some Moroccan ingredients - preserved lemon, harissa, cilantro - to give this a twist. It makes the pesto much more savory without the sweetness of basil. If these are your flavors, you will love this pesto and it comes together in minutes.

I'm sending this over to Jen at Tastes of Home who is hosting Presto Pasta Night this week. If you want to participate as well, send your entries to tastesofhome (at)gmail (dot) com and cc ruth (at) 4everykitchen (dot) com by January 27th. Check back on Friday for the round up!

Capellini with Moroccan Style Sundried Tomato Pesto

1/2 lb capellini (angel hair) pasta
20 sundried tomatoes, steeped in boiling hot water
16 black oil cured olives
3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
2/3 cup olive oil
1/2 preserved lemon, pulp removed and chopped
1 cup packed fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon harissa (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt

Bring 4 quarts salted water to boil for pasta. Meanwhile, combine remaining ingredients except pasta in food processor and pulse until smooth, scraping down as needed. Cook pasta as directed and drain. Return pasta to pot and stir in 3 tablespoons of pesto and stir well until it blends in completely. Garnish with 1/2 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese if desired.


Recipes currently inspiring me:

Mashed White Beans with Spinach and Olives at Closet Cooking
Cabbage, Sweet Potato and Black Bean Soup at Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice
Pear Salad with Candied Pecans and Blue Cheese at Stacey Snacks


Reeni said...

I like all of these strong flavors together Kirsten! Such an amazing combination. And angel hair is one of my favorite too! *HUGS* hope you're having a good week!

Smoky Wok (formerly Tastes of Home) said...

Hi, the round-up is done and at my blog! Thanks again for participating 

Corina said...

I love anything with Moroccan flavours. The harissa must make this really tasty

Couscous & Consciousness said...

I love the idea of your sundried tomato pesto, especially with the preserved lemon and harissa. This is totally my kind of dish so this one is definitely bookmarked for a "must try".
Sue :-)

Claudia said...

This sounds so awesome; what fantastic flavors! I am making it tonight and adding some fresh ahi, cubed up, into the mix.

Ruth Daniels said...

And yet another fantastic use of my preserved lemons! Thanks for sharing the recipe and the cookbook (it's now on my wishlist) with Presto Pasta Nights.