I occasionally prepare a plate of pasta for myself. I repeat again, occasionally. Except from the simple tomato sauce that I do by mixing tomato chunks and some ground pepper and cook them together, I usually use ready made sauce that I buy from supermarkets, my top favourite being pesto sauce.
But at times ,when I feel like mixing this delicious sauce, I go and search in the pantry and I find none! Dilemma! How can I solve this problem?
Problem solved by Nicoletta Galea. She, like my other friend, is too a newly wed and will soon be celebrating her first year of marriage, in July, with Jason, a colleague of mine. Even though Nicoletta has been married almost a year, she has been cooking for a very long time. I once tasted a Homer Simpson inspired cake that she prepared and it was super delicious.
So Nicoletta sent me this very simple pesto recipe that anyone can prepare at home. All you need are the following ingredients:
50g of fresh basil (Nic actually grows fresh basil at home in her yard. This is a good idea as one can use basil in recipes but also have a nice smell in the yard/garden)
4 garlic cloves
4 tbsp pine nuts
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
115g grated parmesan and 25g pecorino cheese ( pecorin cheese is optional)
400g dried Eliche (or pasta of your choice like Fusilli or Penne)
Salt and ground pepper
In the following recipe Nic decided to use walnuts instead of pine nuts as these are cheaper and easier to find at local markets.
1. Put the basil leaves, walnuts and garlic in a food processor.
2.Add 4tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and blend until all ingredients are thinly chopped.
3. Open the blender and scrape the ingredients from the sides of the bowl. Close the lid and add the remaining oil.
4. Scrape the mixture into a big bowl and add the cheese using a wooden spoon or the scraper. Taste and add salt and/or pepper accordingly.
5. Boil the pasta according to instructions on packet ( hehe this is the easiest step for me)
6. Mix the pesto sauce with the pasta and enjoy! You can garnish with some fresh basil leaves or grated parmesan cheese.
If you do not use all the mixture, put it in a glass jar and put some olive oil on top to seal it and put it in the fridge. As I said in a previous post you have to use mixture within a week as the mixture contains water (like water found in garlic) that can create bacteria.
My tip: I sometimes use pesto sauce on bread. Just toast some bread and put drizzles of pesto on top and enjoy!