This spaghetti with burst tomatoes is the perfect answer to the question of what to cook on those hot summer nights that is simple, refreshing, and exploding with flavor. Roasted cherry tomatoes are paired with a pistachio pesto for a new twist on a classic dish.
There are some things that are just so simple and classic that it doesn’t take much to make a meal of them, if you prepare those ingredients right. Pesto and simple roasted tomatoes are definitely two of those things.
I feel like I’ve spent a lifetime discovering the plethora of options available when it comes to pesto. You can literally make it from any type of green (or things that are not green at all!) with any type of nut that you prefer, and with most any type of cheese. This formula of greens + nuts + cheese + oil is so versatile. And yet, when it comes down to it, perhaps my favorite pesto is still a classic basil pesto. But if there had to be a close runner up, it would be pistachio pesto, hands down!
The huge body and intense depth of flavor that pistachios give to pesto is irreplaceable, in my opinion. A classic basil pesto gives us that bright, fresh feeling, while pistachio pesto leaves us with a symphony of flavor. Because the pistachios themselves have so much going for them, I love to pair it with a milder green than basil, and typically that is spinach. In this pesto, spinach provides that perfect balance with the pistachios, allowing them to shine while still giving fresh and vibrant body to the sauce. I absolutely adore the way the pesto plays off the warm, tangy cherry tomatoes, that just burst in your mouth when you bite down on one!
I’m going to be working on transitioning this blog to something new, which I’m super excited about: lifestyle. As I grow older, I am beginning to recognize that life is about balance, and I want to explore that balance on this blog. The balance between food and health, home and design, travel and family, and one of my favorite guilty pleasures: fashion. So I hope that you stay tuned for what The Charming Detroiter is going to become, as I have a lot of ideas that I can’t wait to get started on and big aspirations for my little corner of the web!
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes (red, yellow, or a combination)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 1/2 cup pistachios
- 4 ounces baby spinach
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes (more if you like spicier food, less if you don't)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced
- Fresh grated parmesan cheese
- Heat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Fill a baking sheet with the cherry tomatoes in one layer (use two trays if necessary). Toss with olive oil and kosher salt. Roast in heated oven for 20-25 minutes, until they start to char and blister, stirring occasionally. You can also use the broiler if you want them extra charred for 1-2 minutes after roasting.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.
- While tomatoes are roasting, prepare pistachio spinach pesto. Add garlic cloves to a food processor and pulse until minced, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed. Add pistachios, spinach, red pepper flakes and salt and pulse until homogenous. With processor running, stream in olive oil and run food processor until pesto is smooth. Set aside.
- Cook pasta until al dente and drain, reserving about 1/2 cup of pasta water. Toss about half the pesto and the roasted cherry tomatoes with the pasta and a few splashes of pasta water until well combined. Add more pesto if desired. Serve with grated parmesan cheese and fresh basil.