Saturday, August 23, 2014

Basil Pesto Sauce on Fettuccine

This is a great change from tomato sauce on your pasta. I had never added this little recipe to the blog because it's really so simple. But after I posted a few photos to Facebook, several requested it so here it is. It really is just a fresh combination of basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic and olive oil. I toss in some cheese at the end, which is optional.

The simple ingredients for basil pesto sauce.
I say it's simple and it really is, but there is a caveat. You must have a food processor for it to be quick and simple. If you don't, the classic technique uses a mortar and pestle. For this method, I've provided a video clip below that shows the technique.

Ingredients (enough for 1 pound of pasta)
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2.25 ounces (about 1/4 cup) pine nuts
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino cheese (substitute Romano)

Combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. With the processor running, drizzle in the oil until smooth. Add the cheese and pulse 2-3 times to mix in.
Season with salt and pepper.

Boil one pound of fettuccine or spaghetti until al dente. Reserve a bit of the starchy pan water in which the noodles cooked. Toss the freshly cooked pasta with all of the pesto sauce.  Stir in a half cup or so of hot starch water if needed for a more creamy consistency. Sprinkle the finished dish with a little more grated cheese and serve.

Julian's Fresh Pesto Sauce

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