Radish Pesto Pasta

Radish Sprout Pesto Pasta

David Lebowitz shared the idea of Radish Leaf Pesto. It is a brilliant idea allowing us to utilize a part of the plant that is usually discarded. Unfortunately, young radishes are not available in my market right now. I am, however, able to get radish sprouts. I have used them before as a tasty garnish, and they seemed perfect for this pesto.

Here is the simple radish sprout pesto recipe and instructions. Below I discuss some of the details as they relate to this dish.

Be forewarned this pesto is not a mild preparation. The radish and garlic make for strong flavors. Therefore, I choose to use this in a light cream tomato sauce allowing the cream to soften the flavors. I topped this with slices of roasted pork tenderloin, but other meats could work just as well.

Be forewarned this pesto is not a mild preparation. The radish and garlic make for strong flavors. Therefore, I choose to use this in a light cream tomato sauce allowing the cream to soften the flavors. I topped this with slices of roasted pork tenderloin, but other meats could work just as well.

Notes on Ingredients

Garlic

The cut sprouts were a relatively small batch, making about 1.5 cups of loose sprouts. To this I added 2 cloves of garlic, a significant amount. I did this aware that I was going to be using cream sauce and only a small amount of pesto.

Pine Nuts or Almonds?

Lebowitz used almonds instead of the traditional pine nuts. Interesting idea, but toasted pine nuts seemed to be the flavor I wanted. But both could certainly work.

Tomatoes or Tomato Sauce?

I actually made this dish multiple times. (I did really like it.). Pictured and described below is using a homemade tomato sauce. I also made once with a medium tomato cooked for a few minutes, that worked well also, since you just need to change the cooking times some as noted in the recipe. Of course, a canned tomato sauce would work also.

Notes on Technique

The Pesto

Pesto is simple to make with a food processor. Add all ingredients in the blender and lightly pulse. It is difficult to determine exactly how much olive oil is needed. Therefore, after the initial pulse, drizzle oil in with multiple light pulses until you have a paste consistency you want.

Pesto recipe follows the pasta recipe below.

The Tomato cream Sauce

The tomato cream sauce was made in a pan that is used for mixing in the pasta to finish. It is done quickly by simmering the cream, then adding the tomatoes. This is done right before the pasta is finished. If using a fresh tomato instead of tomato sauce only a couple more minutes are needed.

Radish Pesto Pasta

Radish Sprout Pesto Pasta

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

This dish can be produced in many different ways. More pesto, then more bang. More cream, then more elegance. Have time to cook a tomato sauce? Then super intense flavors. Don't have that time? Then just saute a tomato. (FYI, the time estimates assume this quick approach.)

Ingredients

Pork Tenderloin

  • 1 lb pork tenderloin
  • Salt
  • Olive Oil

Tomato Sauce

  • 4 or more tomatoes (such as roma)
  • Salt

Pasta and Pasta Sauce

  • 10 ounces pasta (wide such as fettuccine or linguine)
  • 4 ounces creme fraiche or heavy cream
  • ¼ tomato sauce (or medium tomato)
  • 4 tablespoons radish pesto (see link in instructions)
  • Parsley, chopped (or extra radish sprouts)

Instructions

Tomato Sauce

This will make more sauce than you need for this recipe. Add the quantity needed in the "Pasta and Pasta Sauce" steps below and reserve the remaining for another purpose.

  1. The tomato skins can be removed by blanching the tomatoes. Bring to a boil a pan of water large enough to submerge all of your tomatoes. (Alternatively, you can work in batches -- a few at a time.) Prepare a bowl of ice-cold water. Drop the tomatoes in the boiling water for 10 to 15 seconds. Remove and immediately submerge in the ice water.
  2. Remove the tomatoes from the ice water and they should peel easily. Slice the tomatoes open to remove the core, if necessary, and remove the seeds.
  3. Add the tomatoes to a saucepan and add salt. Cook over low heat for an hour to an hour and a half until thick. Cook as slow as you would like, it only improves it. (See note about seasoning.)
  4. While the tomatoes are cooking salt as you go along to taste. Remember the final product will be more condensed.

Pork Tenderloin

  1. About an hour before cooking salt the pork well. Return to refrigerator.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  3. Over a medium flame in an ovenproof pan sear the pork on all sides. About 3-5 minutes on each side. After the pork is seared on all sides, place in the oven until the internal temperature is about 145°F. (About 10 minutes.) Remove from the oven and set aside.

Pesto (follow link below)

Radish Sprout Pesto

Pasta and Pasta Sauce

  1. Cook the pasta according to package instructions.
  2. If using tomato sauce: When there is about 3-4 minutes are remaining on the cooking time on the pasta, add the creme fraiche to a saucepan. Simmer lightly for 2 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and stir into cream to warm. Add the pesto and mix in thoroughly.

    If using a fresh tomato: Slice the tomato. Start the creme fraiche as above with about 5-7 minutes remaining on the pasta then add the tomato to the cream and cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the pesto and mix in thoroughly
  3. Add the pasta to the saucepan and about 1 to 2 tablespoons of the pasta water. Simmer gently to let the water absorb and help the sauce stick to the pasta.
  4. Serve by mounding the pasta on a plate, top with slices of the pork and chopped parsley.

Notes

Note: I use no seasoning in this sauce since I plan to add the pesto later. Any fresh herbs could be added if desired.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 370Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 112mgSodium: 254mgProtein: 23g

Calculated Nutrition is estimated.

Radish Pesto

Radish Sprout Pesto

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Not a subtle taste.

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch radish sprouts or leaves
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 garlic cloves (use one if milder pesto is desired)
  • ¼ cup olive oil (approximate)

Instructions

Pesto

This will make more pesto than you need for this recipe. Add the quantity needed in the "Pasta and Pasta Sauce" steps below and reserve the remaining for another purpose.

  1. Add the sprouts, Parmesan, garlic, and pine nuts to the bowl of a food processor. Lightly pulse to create a rough mixture.
  2. Slow drizzle olive oil into the bowl while continuing to lightly pulse. Work slowly, to not over grind the ingredients or to add too much oil. Continue to a paste is formed.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 103Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 57mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 2g

Calculated Nutrition is estimated.

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