19 September 2010

Hosting Presto Pasta Nights and Cooking Spaghetti with Two Tomato (spaghetti ai due pomodori) Voting Opens for Project Food Buzz

 I have been following and joining in on the fun whenever I have pasta over at Presto Pasta Nights for the past few years. My cupboards are always full of pasta in countless shapes and sizes. It is simply too hard to resist at our local Italian grocers, especially since they have expanded!!! I want to have pasta every day of the year!!!!

Presto Pasta Nights event has been the baby of Ruth over at Once Upon a Feast for over 3 glorious years. Whenever we feel the urge for some pasta we can go over to her site and have 3 years of entries from all over the world to choose from from pasta salad to lasagna to Pho. All of these delicious pasta dishes have been submitted by all of you!!!

Please don't forget that voting starts today at Foodbuzz's Project Food Blog where you can read my first challenge. Check out my profile here!!!! Project Food Blog is the first-ever interactive competition where thousands of Foodbuzz Featured Publishers are competing in a series of culinary blogging challenges for the chance to advance and a shot at the ultimate prize. Voting for entries on the first challenge kicks off TODAY, and contestants will be whittled down over the next 12 weeks via exciting challenges related to food blogging.

Winners advance to the next challenge, including one lucky Reader's Choice winner who earns auto advancement to the next challenge (solely based on Reader votes. Entries are also rated by our panel of illustrious judges including:

Dana Cowin (Editor-in-Chief of FOOD and WINE Magazine), Nancy Silverton (Founder La Brea Bakery, Co-owner Mozza) and Pim Techamuanvivit (Author of ChezPim and The Foodie Handbook). Vote here!!!!!

This Friday September 24 I will be hosting Presto Pasta Nights for the very first time. Please send your recipes to More Than Burnt Toast at valleygurl43(at)hotmail(DOT)com.

As this weeks hostess I am sending along one of my favourite and simple pasta dishes from La Cucina Italiana. Two kinds of tomatoes... fresh cherry tomatoes and sun-dried tomatoes... get made into a pesto-like sauce for this summery spaghetti. The pesto can be made ahead and be kept refrigerated. It's like summer on a plate. I can just taste the warm sunshine on the tip of my tongue as I close my eyes. The sauce is not just for pasta since leftovers (if there are any) are also delicious on bruschetta or served with grilled fish or chicken.

**Spaghetti with Two Tomatoes (spaghetti ai due pomodori)**


1 scant cup drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt-packed capers, rinsed, soaked in cold water for 10 minutes, then rinsed again
2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes (9 ounces), quartered
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives plus more for garnish


Coarse sea salt
1 pound spaghetti
Freshly ground black pepper

For Pesto: In a blender, purée sun-dried tomatoes, oil and capers until well combined. Add cherry tomatoes and purée until smooth, adding 1 to 2 tablespoons warm water to help blend, if necessary. Transfer pesto to a large serving bowl; stir in cheese and chives.

For Pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and add to bowl with pesto; toss together until well combined. Serve immediately with chives and pepper.

Serves 4 - 6

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips


  1. Dear Vall, Presto Pasta night is lovely and this recipe you bing us is really tasty, xx gloria

  2. This looks like a lovely pasta. Yum-Yum!!!

  3. Oh, it is exciting to see you heading this lovely event. Meatless Monday, presto pasta here we come!!

  4. I can't wait to see the roundup!



  5. This sounds delicious and I have all the ingredients except pasta. Why is my pantry not stocked with pasta? Because some "bug" got into every package. Just the pasta and nothing else. It's a mystery because it has never happened before. So sad to chuck it all out. I'm restocking and putting it into glass jars for now.


  6. Okay, I have a pasta dish in the wings...hopefully I'll be able to get to it in time!! And I voted...good luck, BBFF! =)

  7. This sounds perfect and I am looking for a recipe for this evening...I have found it!

  8. What a great pasta dish using two kinds of tomatoes; the sun dried tomatoes will give it great depth of flavor. And capers! Yum.

    Looking forward to seeing your roundup after you host Presto Pasta nights, Val! I don't cook a lot of pasta but every once in a while.....

  9. Your sauce sounds absolutely divine, Val. One of the best I've seen in ages. :-) Best of luck on your endeavors!!! :-)

  10. Double the tomatoes...double the fun! Isn't that how the saying goes? Well, that's how it goes in my world! Looks delicious.

    I just voted for you! :P

  11. Val...I have a terrible weakness for pasta. Your recipe is foolproof and very appetizing. Looking forward to your next pasta delights ;o)

    Flavourful wishes,

  12. You definitely have one of my votes -- and I'll try to send you a pasta dish too.

  13. Val, this looks yummy. I just happen to have all of the ingredients so your recipe is my dinner tonight. Thanks! I love your blog! I will cast my vote your way.
    P.S. I picked up the salad dressing and the crackers.
    Thanks for all of your recommendations. I am set!

  14. Looks delish, as always. I voted!

  15. Forgive me, Val. I posted the comment before I finished writing it. Ok, so, you've got my vote, of course. And I like your pasta. We have been consuming a lot of cherry tomatoes: they are so good, it's impossible to get tired of them. And they are so versatile.

  16. Lovely pasta Val with the two tomato combination. I'm crazy for sun-dried tomatoes.

    Good luck in the challenge. I voted yesterday.

  17. You have my vote also. I have never had an opportunity to be in a challenge and here I am joining so many. Good luck.

    Platanos, Mangoes and me!

  18. Great recipe; sometimes less is best and this simple recipe is right up my alley. Good Luck!

  19. I love La Cucina, and I've made that pesto. It's a great one, and the chives in it are delicious!

  20. Yum Yum pasta. Flavours right up my street Val. Just voted for you! Good luck!! ♥

  21. It really is a lovely pasta. The sun-dried tomatoes are a great addition to the sauce, Val. I have a hunch that you are going to do very well in the competition. You have many friends who admire your skill with and love of food :-) Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  22. I love tomatoes, so putting in two kinds of tomatoes puts this one in the keeper column. It sounds wonderful!

  23. Sounds delicious with the cherry and sun dried tomatoes- they just seem to me to be sweeter than most. Thanks!

  24. Best of luck with the foodbuzz competition! Your pasta looks fantastic. I love that there are capers in the mix!

  25. How exciting Val - love this recipe with two kinds of tomatoes.

  26. I love when tomato sauce has capers in it. My all time favorite sauce is Puttanesca. I need to submit to Pasta Night. Congrats on your Foodbuzz entry, i just cast my vote :)

  27. Thanks for sharing info on pesto pasta nights. Making fresh pasta and using ingredients one would purchase at a local farmer's market would seem to make a huge difference in how it smells and tastes.

  28. Mmm...nice variation on the standard tomato sauce and the standard pesto. It's seems traditional and yet it's surprising all at the same time.

  29. Sun dried tomatoes add so much extra compressed flavor, and then the fresh in there too, it's got to be good. Tomato Pesto, I love it.


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