Broiled Tomatoes with Sicilian Pesto
3 tablespoons pinenuts
2 cups fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Large pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 large ripe red tomatoes
Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add the pine nuts. Stirring constantly, cook the pine nuts until golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the pan immediately. Place the basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts and olive oil in a blender or a food processor and blend at high speed until smooth. Stop and scrape down the sides. Add ½ cup cheese and red pepper and pulse a few times to make a thick paste. Fold in the cherry tomatoes and season with salt and pepper.
Set oven on broil. Cut each tomato in half. Scoop out a small amount of each center and place them cut side up on a baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Place the tomatoes under the broiler 3 to 4-inches from the heat source and broil until the tomatoes are hot and the juices are sizzleing, 2-3 minutes. Remove from broiler.
Scoop 1-2 tablespoons of pesto onto each tomato.