Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato and Goat Cheese Pesto

by Kelly on March 3, 2011

Thanks for the kind words on my last post.  I always struggle with how candid and honest to be on the blog.  In many ways, the candid posts are the ones where I feel I’m most able be myself, but I also recognize that for many people reading a food blog is more about a happy escape or discovering new recipes and want to be respectful of the fact that those readers may not come to my blog to read about my daily struggles.  Yet separating the two can be challenging because food for me is more than fuel and accordingly, mood drives what I make and what I make drives my mood.

In any event, I’m feeling much better.  Because I am still condo hunting, my life still feels a bit unsettled and up in the air at the moment, much as if I am constantly waiting, lips pursed, to take my next breath, but I think I am becoming more accustomed to dealing with this inbetween place.

But although I have moved on to a happier mindset, I still wanted to share another recipe I made when I was still in the phase of cheering myself up.  When last I posted I turned to one of my top two favorite ingredients – chocolate so it only makes sense that my second recipe would feature the other – cheese, and goat cheese to be specific.
sundried tomato goat cheese pasta-2

In this recipe it gets combined with sweet sun-dried tomatoes, parsley, and walnuts for a deliciously well balanced pesto. I made this recipe years ago and loved it over pasta, but this time decided to add in some evaporated milk for a creamier, saucier sauce.

I loved this over whole wheat pasta. The sun dried tomatoes and parsley cut through the richness of the dairy while the walnuts really bring out the nuttiness of a whole grain pasta. I tossed some simple roasted cauliflower in with my pasta, but this would be equally delicious tossed with some broccoli, mushrooms or even bacon.

sundried tomato goat cheese pasta

Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato and Goat Cheese Pesto
Adapted from The Complete Book of Pasta and Noodles
Serves 4

-¼ cup walnuts
-3 medium garlic cloves, threaded on a skewer
-16 sundried tomatoes, packed in olive oil, drained
-2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
-7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
-2 tablespoons parmesan, grated or shredded
-¼ cup (2 oz) fresh goat cheese
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1 12 ounce can evaporated fat free milk


Toast the nuts in a small, heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until just golden and fragrant, 4 to 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring at least 2 cups of water to a boil in a pot. Lower the skewered garlic into the water; boil for 45 seconds. Immediately run the garlic under cold water. Remove from the skewer; peel and mince.

Place the nuts, garlic, tomatoes, parsley, oil, cheese and salt in the work bowl of a food processor; process until smooth, stopping as necessary to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Slowly stream in evaporated milk until well combined.

To serve, toss with hot pasta.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Bethany March 3, 2011 at 8:06 am

Glad you’re doing better (but… let’s still get together 🙂

Goat cheese is just… perfect, in so many situations. Which I don’t have to tell you, since you’re the goat cheese goddess 🙂 But this pasta looks fantastic! Did you know that pesto is one of the only ways I can eat walnuts? Alone, they REALLY don’t appeal to me, but as a nutty flavor in a savory sauce or dish, I love em. Go figure.


Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen March 3, 2011 at 9:05 am

I think goat cheese is what was missing in a similar recipe I attempted recently…thanks for the inspiration!

And glad you are feeling better. 🙂


Lauren @ Healthy Food For Living March 3, 2011 at 12:07 pm

Glad to read that you’re feeling better! These last two
recipes must have something to do with it – I know they would
improve my mood. I love goat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes, so I
know I would adore this pesto. Great recipe!


Shannon March 3, 2011 at 1:34 pm

ooh, i love the sounds of this!! fabulous, and i’ll be trying it i’m sure 🙂 Glad things are on the up and up!


Cara March 4, 2011 at 12:59 pm

I really love the look and feel of those photos – so vintage!


sophia March 4, 2011 at 9:56 pm

I found out today that the condo I had been anticipating over was scam. The “owner” tried to get me to send her $1200 before handing me the keys. Damn him/her. I’m so sorry you didn’t get that dream condo you wanted, Kelly. I understand the disappointment. I’m really glad you feel better. I’m sure a much better place will come about, and then you’ll realize it was really a blessing that the negotiations fell through.



5 Star Foodie March 6, 2011 at 11:17 pm

The pesto sounds wonderful with the combination of goat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes! Glad you are doing better.


Tanja @ Postmodern Hostess March 8, 2011 at 8:39 pm

I’m also glad you’re feeling better, and though you’re so considerate to think about what other people might want in a food blog, this is ultimately your blog, and you should share whatever you feel like sharing. 🙂 The people who come looking just for pictures and recipes will skip all the text anyway, so write what feels best to you.


Kelly March 12, 2011 at 1:48 am

Tanja – Thanks for the comment. I think everything you said makes so much sense. You’re right, we are all owners of our own blogs!


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