Friday, August 6, 2010

Pesto, queen of pasta sauces

Pesto is a comfort food to me, and one that works all year round. For years I've been very loyal to Sacla's standard (basil) pesto, but when I realised how easy it is to make it, I've converted. I was given a Magimix by my lovely mum as a wedding present, and for many of the creations I do regularly in the kitchen, it has changed my life.
Basil, of course, is the king ingredient for pesto. If you're starting a herb garden or window box it would definitely be my number one. It's great in almost all italian dishes, and just the smell of it makes me happy. Unfortunately my basil has seen better days, I think the Sydney winter has got to it. To make pesto, you need a big bunch at a time, so it might be worth investing in a few plants.

1 bunch of basil
1 clove garlic, chopped in half
50g pine nuts
50g parmesan
100ml extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

Wash the basil leaves and pat dry.
Place basil leaves (no shoots), garlic, pine nuts and parmesan into the food processor. You will only need the small bowl for this quantity. Pulse until everything is fairly fine.
Then with the processor on, pour in olive oil until the pesto is the right consistency to add to pasta. I like it to be a bit oily, not only because I love the flavour of the olive oil, but it helps really cover the pasta.
Taste, and add salt & pepper as necessary

It really is a very easy recipe - cleaning up is very much the harder part here

Last night I went for an extremely green look, using spinach pasta and tossing spinach leaves over the top. Green heaven.

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