A simple pasta that is quick to throw together, yet is bursting with a ton of flavor from the marinated artichokes. Or, forget the pasta and spread this warm pesto (without the reserved pasta water) over crunchy baguettes slices for a great tasting appy!
Toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet over med-high heat. Once they start to brown, shake the pan frequently until all sides are golden. Toasting brings out their aromatic oils, making them so much more flavorful.
Using the reserved pasta water does two things – thins out the pesto into a more sauce-like consistency, as well it helps to thicken the sauce due to the starch that was cooked out of the pasta. Use as much of the water as you’d like, until you get the consistency you want.
Artichoke & Pine Nut Pesto
- 1 cup marinated artichokes drained & quartered
- 2 Tbsp pine nuts toasted
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese grated
- 1 Tbsp fresh tarragon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Toast pine nuts in a dry skillet until lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.
- Boil pasta of your choice, and cook to al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water before draining..
- Add pine nuts and remaining ingredients into a food processor and pulse until you get the consistency you want. Use as little or as much olive oil as you like - adding the reserved pasta water will thin the pesto out into a sauce (if you don't use as much oil in the pesto, you may need to add more water).
- Place pasta into a large skillet, and add pesto. Stir in enough pasta water until mixture loosens and a sauce is created. Gently heat until warmed throughout.
- For Dairy-Free: replace parmesan with an equal amount of cooked quinoa. Stir in the quinoa after you've processed the rest of the ingredients, or you can pulse it a few times if you like in the food processor - whatever texture you like. The quinoa will add the volume to the pesto, then all you need to add is a bit more seasonings to replace the flavor lost from the cheese.