Friday 5 June 2009

Pesto Genovese

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Fresh pasta and pesto is one of those meals that I always default to when I get home late from work or on those days when I don't really feel like spending a lot of time in the kitchen. It's quick, simple and good and I usually have all the ingredients around.

Traditionally it would me made with a pestle and mortar, smashing the basil leave little by little, but most time I just use my stick blender. It doesn't make the pesto quite as smooth as doing it by hand, but it's quicker and I actually like a slightly grainier pesto just as much.

What is your quick mid-week dinner of choice?

Pesto Genovese (makes enough for 6-8 people)

1 large basil plant, leaves only
25g pine kernels
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp granular sea salt
50g freshly grated Parmesan
100-200ml extra virgin olive oil

Wash the basil leaves and dry them in a salad spinner.

Toast your pine kernels in a dry frying pan for 2-3 minutes, until golden.

If you're using a mortar, pound the garlic with the salt until you have a smooth paste.

Add the pine nuts and keep pounding.

Then start adding the basil leaves, 2-3 at a time and keep mashing until all is reduced to a silky paste. If you want you can freeze the mixture at this point.

Add the cheese, stir and then add the oil and stir with a wooden spoon until you have a smooth, silky pesto. The amount of oil you adds depends on your preference of texture.

Alternatively place all ingredients in a container and blend with your stick blender until you reach the preferred consistency.

Mix into hot pasta and serve straight away.

You can pour any leftover pesto into a clean jar, top with a layer of olive oil, cover tightly and keep it in your fridge for up to a week.


Eralda LT said...

I love pesto! I also love my submersion blender. I don't know what I would do without it.

My fast meal is a quick pasta tossed in olive oil, pepper and crumbled feta. Yum!

Gloria Baker said...

Really I love pesto Sylvie and this lokk so nice and tasty!! xGloria

Sam said...

Pesto makes a fantastic quick and delicious meal, your pasta looks really nice I particularly like the addition of whole pine nuts.

I usually turn to spaghetti carbonara when I want something fast, pasta is the perfect fast food!

pigpigscorner said...

Definitely pasta! So simple yet so satisfying. Your dish looks so appetising!

Nic said...

I quite often go for pasta in the middle of the week too. I love what you made with your pesto!

Marie Rayner said...

I often make my own fresh pesto. It is really wonderful. SO much better than any you could buy in the shops. Your pasta looks delicious!

Jan said...

Mmmm Yum love the whole pine nuts you've added.

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

In answer to your question - possibly this! Proper pesto is one of my all-time favourite summer things. Hard to beat!

Jacqueline Meldrum said...

I've not made pesto for ages. I really must make it soon. My basil plants are coming aong nicely, so soon I will have no excuse :)

J.L. Danger said...

That is a great looking dish!