Tomatoes are finally in their prime Britney Toxic moment right now so there’s a huge part of me that just wants to eat tomato sandwiches every day for the rest of the month then there’s the 25% of me that wants to listen to a couple friends on insta that swear by the tomato walnut pesto in the July Issue of bon appétit.
The other 75% of me is v v happy i listened.
I’ve broiled the shit out of my tomatoes before but it’s been for something like salsa and it’s always been a larger, stronger tomato like a roma or those ones with separation anxiety that that are still on the vine. Turns out cherry tomatoes are kind of perfect when they’re broiled and all the juices come out, and they have almost a creamy quality to them. This whole pesto actually has a creaminess to it with no heavy cream at all and it’s sort of trippy and I love it, total childhood clam linguine throwback for me with the addition of the anchovies.
This takes less than 30 minutes to throw together and most of that time is spent waiting for the walnuts and tomatoes to cool down so if you wanna make it super snappy you can toast the walnuts ahead of time, like in the morning, then broil the tomatoes and blitz it all for dinner. I could probably eat this sauce on just about anything but there is no getting around the fact that it looks like actual vomit when it’s not making out with all the pasta, so let’s all make a pact right here right now to only enjoy it on 100% pasta.
Tomato & Walnut Pasta
Makes enough to generously coat 12 oz of pasta, could get away with coating a whole 16 oz
Barely adapted from the bon appétit July Issue
⅔ cup walnuts
2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons plus ⅓ cup olive oil
2 teaspoons anchovy paste
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
zest of 1 small lemon
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
12 – 16 ounces spaghetti
½ cup packed basil leaves, for finishing the dish
Preheat the oven to 350* F and roast the walnuts on a foil lined baking sheet until they’re just starting to toast, 8-10 minutes, shaking the pan halfway through. Turn off the oven and turn the broiler on to high.
Slide the walnuts off the baking sheet onto a plate and use the same baking sheet to toss the tomatoes with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Broil the tomatoes for 5-7 minutes, tossing once, until they’re nice and soft, they’ve blackened in some spots and released some of their juices (5 minutes was perfect for me).
Set them aside to cool for a few minutes while you get a large pot of water boiling for the pasta. When the water’s ready drop in a big pinch of salt and the pasta and cook according to the time on the package.
While the pasta’s cooking make the pesto: In a blender or food processor blitz the walnuts, anchovy paste, garlic, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, parmesan, and black pepper until it’s roughly combined. Add HALF of the tomatoes and let the machine go until it’s all combined then slowly drizzle in the olive oil while the machine’s running. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed.
The pasta should be good by now so reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water and drain the pasta. Toss with the pasta with the pesto and about half the pasta water. If the sauce needs to loosen up, or you used the 16 oz. of pasta, add more of the pasta water until the sauce reaches the desired consistency. Serve the pasta topped with more parmesan, the other half of the tomatoes and the basil.