Tomato pesto Nioki
Tessa Kiros and her books is my favourite writer of the most imaginative, delicious and tasty foods and desserts that give you the sense of “home”, warmness and calmness.
With a Finnish mother, Cypriot father, Russian grand-grandmother and Italian husband, born in London, grown at South Africa and residence in Italy (wow!), Tessa has created a colourful and multi cultural puzzle of tastes, smells, colours and cooking mix that take you away to a journey with her through space and time…
This Nioki recipe (pasta made by potatoes and flour) is from her book “Apples for jam” which you can find at Amazon.
These nioki aren’t handmade but I will make some myself soon.
It is an easy, quick and very tasty recipe with my personal touch in brackets.
It serves 2 (hungry people)
- 1 package of nioki (500gr)
- 100 gr olive oil
- 2 peeled garlic cloves
- 400 gr chopped tomatoes from a can (I didn’t have a can and used about 350 gr fresh chopped and peeled tomatoes with their liquids plus 5-6 sun dried tomatoes. You may use whatever you prefer or have at home)
- 25 gr (1/2 cup) fresh basil leeves
- 3 tbls of pine cones (I used 1 ½ as I didn’t have more!)
- 30 gr grained parmesan
- Boil water and add nioki with salt. Boil as long as the package says so or for 2-3 minutes or until all the nioki come up at the surface.
- Turn off heat and drain nioki. If you want to, keep a small glass of the nioki water in case the pesto needs to be thinned.
For tomato pesto
- Heat in medium 2 tbls of the 100 gr olive oil with the 1 garlic clove in one small pan.
- When the garlic is hot, add the chopped tomatoes and a pinch of salt (beware of the salt because of the parmesan added later on)
- Boil in low heat for about 15’ until the tomatoes are almost melt, pressing them with a spoon now and then.
- In a blender put the 2nd garlic clove with the basil leeves and the pine cones and blend until smooth. Add the rest of the olive oil and parmesan and mix all together until it becomes a paste.
- Add this paste-pesto in the pan with the tomato sauce, turn off the heat and stir well until all the ingredients are mixed for about 20-30 seconds. Optionally, add some of the water kept from the boiled nioki in case the pesto is very thick.
- Remove the garlic clove that was added at No1. Serve nioki with as many spoons of tomato pesto you like, stir them and eat them hot.