What do you do when you have an abundance of homegrown tomatoes and basil? You make some sauces that are way better than what you find jarred in the grocery store! If you have access to produce straight from the garden, I highly recommend making use of it. The flavors are so much better.
Technically, this was one dish but I made two different things and mixed them together. I even had leftovers. I froze the pesto to use at a later time. But, the tomato mixture got reused the next day to make bruschetta. Yum! You can serve these over any pasta but a small ridged type works best. I used Orecchiette. Pesto is typically made using a food processor but those scare me a little bit and I'm ashamed to admit that I don't really know how to use mine. So, I cheated and used a blender.
about 3-4 large tomatoes, cored and diced (4 cups)
1/2 cup excellent-quality olive oil
1/3 cup chopped basil or italian parsley
1 tsp. garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
1/4 tsp. black pepper, freshly ground
1 tsp. kosher salt
pinch of red pepper flakes
Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. Let the mixture sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours. Mix with pasta (and pesto if desired).
2 cups of fresh basil leaves
1 garlic clove
2 grinds of fresh black pepper
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/2 cup walnuts
Toss basil, garlic, pepper, and salt in a food processor (or blender) and process until finely chopped. Scrape the sides to make sure all the basil and garlic get chopped. Pour half the olive oil in and pulse. Next, add the cheese and remaining oil and pulse. Lastly, add in the walnuts and pulse until roughly chopped.