In August fragrant basil leaves are abundant in gardens and pots. Pesto sauce is the best way to use up all those yummy basil leaves. I wanted to come up with a recipe to use up the huge amount of basil leaves I had grown in pots on my deck, and we love pesto sauce so I played around and made up a recipe for Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Sauce. I enjoy coming up with new recipes, I love playing in the kitchen and this one tickled my tongue delightfully strong.
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Making the Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Sauce
I grabbed my food processor and ground up the fresh basil leaves, garlic cloves, and pine nuts. I also added fresh ground black pepper, olive oil, garlic salt, olive oil, Parmesan and Romano cheeses, and sun-dried tomatoes. This was a fun recipe to use up all my basil leaves in. I cooked up the sauce, pasta, and mushrooms and the result was a yummy rich sauce. The dish was delicious with a glass of red wine on the deck.
I ground up each ingredient separately, but that is just because I have a very small food processor. I’m sure if yours is large enough, all could be ground together at one.
This meatless sauce is packed with powerful intense flavor. Meat could easily be added to the top of this pasta dish. I must say this sauce is best when eaten fresh.
I have also used the dried sun-dried tomatoes, rather than those from a jar for this recipe, if you do this, you may want to cook them so they aren’t too chewy, and add a bit more oil perhaps. At least, that is what I did when I used them in this recipe.
Vegetarian Dishes for Summer
I love this vegetarian dish for summer. Enjoying your meal made with herbs or vegetables you grew and sitting on your deck to relish it is a pure slice of heaven. In Minnesota, we love ourselves a bit of summer outdoor dining when we can, and go on it heavy, because we only get the option for about half of the year. I adore sitting on my deck or patio by the pool and enjoying a meal.
Here are a few more recipe gems for summer dining:
Growing Basil Leaves at Home
I enjoy growing basil at my home. I’ve planted seeds in my garden and in pots. The benefit of planting the herb in pots is that I have easy access to it on my deck rather than having to trek down to my garden to pick the leaves. Basil grows very well in pots so deck pot planting or even indoor pot planting is very doable. I adore the aroma of fresh basil in the summer.
I always grow my basil from seeds and have great success. It’s a fun hobby that can be carried through all year long using pots.
In addition to pesto sauce, I use my fresh basil leaves for Caprese. I adore using fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, crackers or bread, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar to make a delicious appetizer for summer. Mix it up and add other vegetables, cheeses, or green olives, stab it with a fork to make a kabob, the options are endless.
Add basil leaves to pizza or salad also for a fun new option.
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Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Sauce for Pasta
- 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms sliced
- 4 cups fresh basil leaves ground
- 3 cloves garlic ground
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper fresh ground
- 1 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 3/4 ounces pine nuts ground
- 1 cup Parmesan and Romano cheeses grated
- 8 ounces sun dried toamtoes from a jar
- 1 pound penne pasta cooked
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese for topping
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- Grind the following in a food processor: 4 c. fresh basil leaves, 3 cloves garlic, 1 3/4 ounces pine nuts. Add all to a large saucepan.
- Add the following to the saucepan: 1 tsp. garlic salt, 1/4 tsp. black pepper, 1 1/4 c. olive oil, 1/4 tsp. black pepper, 1 c. grated Parmesan and Romano cheeses, 8 ounces sun-dried tomatoes from a jar. Stir all together and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Saute mushrooms in 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a separate frying pan.
- Cook penne pasta according to the direction on the package. Drain.
- Build by adding pasta to plates, topping with sauce, cooked mushrooms, and grated Parmesan cheese to taste.