I had a bunch of roasted tomatoes and poblano peppers in the freezer from the garden and friends, and I had used a few of each on hamburgers, but I was looking for something else to do with them and ended up making a big batch of pesto, using 1/2 cup for today’s dish and putting the rest in the freezer. It’s a parsley-walnut pesto base with the typical additions of Parmesan cheese and garlic and olive oil, then made richer with roasted tomatoes and poblano peppers.
The poblanos at first made me think of doing a Tex-Mex dish, like beef enchiladas or burritos, but the tomatoes and parsley had me leaning in more of a pasta direction. The Parmesan could go either way, because it’s a lot like the Mexican Cotija cheese. What finally led me in the pasta direction were those last five fresh tomatoes from the garden—well, not really the last because there’s a big flat of green ones in the garage that I’m hoping will ripen this fall. So this dish makes use of both roasted and fresh tomatoes.
This recipe is also about what else to do with a chuck roast than make pot roast with potatoes, carrots, and gravy. Nothing wrong with pot roast, but a chuck roast is flavorful and can be used in many other ways. I have a small chuck roast (about 2 lbs) roasting in the oven on a bed of the fresh tomatoes, peeled and seeded, and 1 cup of beef broth. When the beef is done and falling apart, maybe after 3 hours, there should be a nice sauce in the pan, although it may need to be reduced on the stove. Then I’ll add the pesto and some sautéed mushrooms and mix it all with the pasta, whole wheat bow ties in this case.
Pasta with Pesto, Tomatoes, and Shredded Beef
Preheat oven to 350°
2 lb chuck roast
4-5 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and roughly chopped
1 cup beef broth or stock or bouillon
salt & pepper
1/2-1 cup Roasted Tomato and Poblano pesto (see below) or your favorite pesto
12 oz button mushrooms, sliced and sautéed in olive oil
1/2 lb pasta, cooked according to package directions
- On bottom of small roasting pan, place tomatoes and beef broth.
- Arrange chuck roast on top of tomatoes and broth. Salt and pepper the roast.
- Cover and roast for about 2 1/2-3 hours, until meat is easy to pull apart.
- Remove roast to cutting board and pull meat into shreds, discarding fat and connective tissue.
- If necessary, pour tomatoes and beef broth into small saucepan, bring to boil, then simmer, uncovered until it cooks down to about 2 cups.
- Stir in 1/2 cup pesto and taste. I don’t add any extra salt, because I find pesto to be salty enough for the whole dish. You can add more pesto to suit your taste.
- Stir in sautéed mushrooms and shredded beef. Pour over cooked pasta.
Roasted Tomato and Poblano Pesto
2-3 cups flat leaf parsley
1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
8-12 roasted tomato halves (roasted with salt, olive oil, and thyme)
3-4 roasted poblano peppers, peeled and seeded
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup walnuts
olive oil to reach desired consistency, maybe 1/2 cup
salt & pepper to taste (I felt my tomatoes and the cheese added enough salt)
- Place all ingredients, except oil, in a food processor.
- Begin processing the ingredients, adding olive oil through the chute until it all comes to a fine and thick consistency.
- Reserve 1/2-1 cup for the pasta dish.