Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Pesto Pasta

I'm settling into my new home in Utah, which means I've been busy unpacking and organizing my kitchen so that good food can be prepared, eaten and blogged about! So far I'm loving the change in scenery. The weather here is gorgeous - blue skies, sunny days, bright green foliage, and snow capped mountains are the views from my windows. It's been hectic trying to reorganize my life, so cooking fast and easy recipes is a must, and light and refreshing meals are a plus to help wind down after the long hot days! Here's a classic dish that hits all the marks - pesto pasta!


Here are the ingredients you will need:
  • 2 cups (packed) fresh basil leaves
  • 3/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Kosher salt and fresh black pepper to taste

Pulse the basil, pine nuts, olive oil in a food processor 10-15 times until well chopped. Add the cheese and pulse 3 more times to incorporate. Season the pesto with salt and pepper to taste.

Bring a large pot of water with 2 tablespoons of salt to a roaring boil. Add the pasta to the water and cook, removing 1-2 minutes prior to the box directions to ensure an al dente noodle. Drain the pasta, but reserve one cup of pasta water. Place the pasta in a large serving bowl and gently mix in the pesto and two tablespoons (or more, if needed) of pasta water. Adding the reserved pasta water at the end helps to create an effective sauce - it increases flavor while thinning the pesto; it allows the pesto sauce to be absorbed into the slightly al dente pasta; and the starchy pasta water helps the sauce coat the pasta.  Garnish with pine nuts and serve. Buon appetito!

22 comments:

  1. Do you rinse the pasta after you drain it? Or just mix in the pesto and pasta water with the warm pasta?

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  2. Thanks for reading and great question! I am a hard core believer of never rinsing cooked pasta. Have you ever looked at the color and clarity of the pasta water after the noodles have been cooked? It's cloudy, white in color - due to the release of starches from the cooking process. That starch is great - it's flavor and it helps the sauce cling to the noodle. Contrary to popular belief freshly cooked pasta, tossed with sauce and immediately eaten will not stick! The disadvantage of rinsing with tap water post pasta cooking is that the pasta is instantly cooled- now there are textural changes - and this is where sticky noodles come into play. So next time reserve the pasta water and finish cooking your pasta in the sauce with that reserved pasta water. In this particular recipe, I'm using a pesto which is never heated. I drained the hot pasta and poured the pasta into a large bowl with the pesto, tossed everything together and then used the reserved water to help thin out the sauce to my desired consistency. Give this technique a try - I guarantee you'll be happy with the results!

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  3. how many servings will this produce?

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  4. It should make cup and a half of pesto, which will easily sauce one pound of pasta. You can keep any extra pesto in the fridge and use it throughout the week, or freeze it for months.

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  5. I know pine nuts are the classic preparation for pesto, but they're just so expensive! Do you have any suggestions for an alternative?

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  6. how about macadamia nuts, walnuts, Brazil nuts, cashew nuts... Give it a try and let me know how it turns out!

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  7. This is a very good recipe, which is easy to prepare, delicious and budget friendly. I can say that pesto pastas are really healthy since it has vitamin K that can help you have a healthy intestine.

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  8. I really love pesto. With that recipe, I can definitely make one easily. Thanks a lot for sharing.

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  9. I'm glad you shared the ingredients. I always include pesto in my order whenever we dine in a restaurant. Now I know how to do it. I'm glad you shared this recipe.

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  10. I tried it out and my wife loves it. Thanks.

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  11. I love pesto especially on pasta. Thanks.

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  12. You could also put some mushrooms to make it more flavorful.

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  13. My dad loved the pasta, he said it was his first time having pesto pasta.

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  14. I love pesto pasta, thank you for sharing your recipe.

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  15. Quick and easy to prepare! I cannot wait to make this again. Definitely throw a few toasted pine nuts on top of the dish as well as some shredded fresh parmesan. I have also made this with chicken tortellini and it was also excellent.

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  16. My kids didn't like it but my husband loved it. Thanks.

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  17. I love Pesto but I have no idea how to make one. I've been thinking of it and I'm just glad you shared the recipe to us.
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  18. Wow! Thank you for sharing this starchy recipe to us. I have bookmarked it so I can make it at home later.
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  19. This is a very delicious recipe. Now, who said that you need very high protein rich food to gain a buffed body.
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  20. Pretty sure I have a problem. I can’t get enough of pasta. But I completely agree with you that some places just don’t get it right. I hate pasta that’s swimming in a heavy cream sauce or marinara. I prefer something a little more gourmet like the dish you whipped up here. Loving the sauce!

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  21. This was really interesting info in this blog that to very happy for the nice technology in this blog. I am really admired for this info in this blog that to very much enjoyed for the great technology in this blog.

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