PASTA AL PESTO LIGURE

Pesto is a wonderful sauce, made with basil leaves and pine nuts. Mostly consumed in summer when basil is abundant, but much used in spring too.

This basic pasta dish, it’s an everyday meal: easy, quick and delicious, that’s why it’s a favorite.

The pasta that is used for the Pesto sauce are “Trofie” a short and chewy pasta that is hand-made and doesn’t come dried in packages as other types of pasta.

They might be difficult to find but the dried short pasta (such as fusilli, penne) work just as well!

 

What you need to serve 4 people:

  • 80gr per person of Trofie or short dried pasta (fusilli, penne..)
  • 2 Garlic cloves medium size
  • 50gr Basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp. of pine nuts
  • 6 tbsp. EVO
  • Sea salt
  • 70gr Grated Parmesan
  • Mortar

How to proceed:

First of all place a pot of water on medium-high heat adding 1 tbsp. of sea salt.

Peal the garlic and place with 1 tsp of sea salt in the mortar and work it until it turns creamy. Add the basil’s leaves and mash it until you see a bright green liquid forming at the bottom of your mortar. At this point add the pine nuts and smash it into the basil mixture; when it becomes creamy again, add  1 tbsp. at the time of parmesan (the cheese has to incorporate in the mix before adding more). Once you’re done with the cheese, add the EVO while you keep mixing. Your Pesto it’s ready!

Bring the water to a boil (it’s important that the water it’s boiling in order to cook properly your pasta) and pour the pasta in the pot.

If using fresh pasta, it’s cooked when it comes to the surface (all of it)

If using dried pasta follow the timing on the package, you can set a timer; before draining pick one pasta and taste it to make sure it’s ready.

Place your pesto into your serving bowl, add 1 to 2 tbsp. of the cooking water and mix.

NB: Add 1 tbsp. of water at the time; it has to lighten in color, remaining creamy.

Drain the pasta and place in the bowl, mix well (all the pasta should be green).

Let it cool down for a couple of minutes than add a handful of grated parmesan and serve!

You can make this dish a one meal, by adding cubed boiled potatoes and green beans to the pasta.

If you want a fresher alternative, instead of potatoes and green beans, you can use cherry tomatoes cut in halves

An alternative way of using pesto sauce, is to spread it on bread slices and serve it as appetizer, yummy!

COOKING TIP: using the blender might seams faster, but it could turn the pesto sour. If you’re short on time and need to use the electric mixer, place it for 1 hour in the fridge and pulse the basil for a few seconds at the time, to prevent the sauce from heating.

Use always genuine Extra-Virgin Olive Oil and Parmigiano, which are the core savor of this dish.

Enjoy you home made pesto: Buon Appetito!

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