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Red and Green Recipe: Green Penne with Basil-Spinach Pistou, Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, and Filet

Put some holiday color on your plate, too, with Red and Green Recipes.

This recipe is a mess of contradictions. Of course, there is the red of the burst roasted cherry tomatoes and the medium rare seared steak, and its color-wheel-opposite green of the spinach penne and the basil-spinach pistou. It is also enormously comforting, but the cream and the filet render it quite refined. It fills you up with heartiness in the winter, and yet the hint of basil and the tomatoes are a wistful reminder of sun-bathed summer.

Pistou is a French version, not surprisingly, of pesto. Usually, the nuts are omitted, but sometimes tomatoes are added, and all different variations occur. This one omits the cheese and is an amalgamation of garlic, spinach, basil, pine nuts, and olive oil. Combined with the steak, this dinner is so packed with iron that I would serve it at an intimate holiday dinner with Popeye at the head of the table. The green of the pasta and the pistou is studded with the red of the tomatoes and the steak—just like a Christmas tree. All you have to do at the table is shower Pecorino Romano all over the top, and you’ll be serving a white Christmas for dinner.

About the author: Kerry Saretsky is a Serious Eats intern and the creator of French Revolution Food, where she reinvents her family's classic French recipes in a fresh, chic, modern way.

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