Monday, March 17, 2014

Dried tomato pesto

During the abundant summer tomato season, I dehydrate some at a low temp in my oven (~250 degrees) to create "sundried" tomatoes for the winter.  I dry small cherry and grape tomatoes to use later on pizzas.  I also dry large cherry and small plum tomatoes to make dried tomato pesto.  I store the dried tomatoes in the freezer, in small bags according to their types.  When I first started drying tomatoes, I stored them in the fridge in oil, but then after a month or two, all of the jars would mold and go bad.  In the freezer, I don't need to use oil and they last the whole winter.

If you remember, take your tomatoes out of the freezer an hour or two before starting.  If you forget, it'll take a bit longer in the food processor.

I started with two cups of dried large cherry tomatoes.
Add 1/4-1/2 cup of grated pecorino romano cheese.  Note that I've tried parmasan, but I prefer the taste of the tomato pesto with pecorino romano.  Then blend.  You'll find that you'll most likely need to add some pasta water (1/4-1/2 cup) to make it have a saucy consistency.  (Note that the hot pasta water also helps to melt the tomatoes as well, if you didn't take them out in time.)
When the pasta is done, drain and put back in the pan.  Add the tomato pesto and stir on heat for a scant minute, to melt the cheese a bit.
Really fast, really easy, and really delicious.

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