Thursday, September 9, 2010

Spaghetti with Beef, Smoked Almonds, and Basil

This summer I bought a really expensive package of spaghetti imported from Italy on suggestion of my friend, fellow foodie, and super Mom, Anne. I kept waiting to use it because Anne said that the pasta was the best she'd ever had.
I decided to go with Giada De Laurentiis' Spaghetti with Beef, Smoked Almonds, and Basil. The combination of beef, almonds, and fresh basil was intriguing to me and I knew my hubby would be happy that this recipe calls for two fresh steaks. I had never bought Herbes de Provence before and although it's expensive, it's lovely! It brings in flavors of Southern France - rosemary, lavender, marjoram, thyme. If you use Herbes de Provence, please share with me your favorite recipe!

My hubby raved about this pasta. He liked the sauce and of course the steak.  I wasn't so in love with it. Although I really like fresh basil, I felt like that overpowered the other ingredients. I could barely taste the smoked almonds. This was not my most favorite Giada recipe - I'd take her Mushroom Ragu, Balsamic Brown Butter Ravioli, or Pasta with Basil Pesto over this one any day of the week. 
Spaghetti with Beef, Smoked Almonds, and Basil
From Giada De Laurentiis

Printable Version

1 pound (1 inch thick) beef tenderloin steaks
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons Herbes de Provence
Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling, plus 1/4 cup
1 pound spaghetti pasta
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 packed cups fresh basil leaves
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
3/4 cup chopped smoked almonds
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

Place an oven rack in the upper 1/3 of the oven. Preheat the oven to 450. Place the steaks on a baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the Herbes de Provence on both sides of the steak and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 10 to 12 minutes for medium-well. Let the steaks rest for 10 minutes.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water.
In a food processor, combine the diced tomatoes, basil, garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, and 1/4 cup olive oil. Process until the mixture is coarsely chopped.
Place the cooked pasta, tomato mixture and smoked almonds in a large serving bowl. Toss well and thin out the sauce with a little pasta water if needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and chopped basil. Slice the steaks into 1/4 inch slices and serve alongside the pasta. 
**Note: The steaks can also be grilled over medium-high heat on a preheated grill pan or gas or charcoal grill for about 5 minutes on each side.


  1. I never would have put those flavours together. It sounds wonderful and I've got a garden full of basil!

  2. Interesting combination...and it sounds delicious! I LOVE Herbes de Provence! I bought some at World Market for like $2.00 after seeing it everywhere else for much higher price.

    In the past I have combined that with a little dijon mustard, salt, pepper and garlic and slathered it on meat before grilling.




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