Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Fresh and flavorful basil pesto pasta: a simple delight


Photo by Engin Akyurt 

When it comes to simple yet incredibly satisfying pasta dishes, the best version is just simple. Bursting with vibrant colors, bold flavors, and the aroma of freshly picked basil, this recipe is a testament to the beauty of using fresh ingredients to create a dish that's both comforting and elegant. Here’s a quick and easy recipe to get the best yet quickest pasta dish together: 

Ingredients: * Also I am leaving out nuts in this recipe.

8 oz pasta of your choice (such as spaghetti or penne- I use gluten free)

2 cups fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2-3 cloves garlic, peeled

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Prepare the Pesto:

Start by washing and drying the fresh basil leaves. In a food processor, combine the basil and garlic. Pulse until the ingredients are coarsely chopped. With the food processor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the mixture becomes smooth and well blended.

2. Add Cheese and Season:

Transfer the basil mixture to a bowl and stir in the grated Parmesan cheese. If desired, you can also add the Pecorino Romano cheese for an extra layer of flavor. Season the pesto with a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper, adjusting to taste.

3. Cook the Pasta:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the package instructions until al dente. Before draining the pasta, reserve about 1/2 cup of the cooking water. This starchy water will help bind the pesto to the pasta.

4. Combine Pesto and Pasta:

In a skillet or the pot used to cook the pasta, combine the cooked pasta, freshly made pesto, and a splash of the reserved pasta water. Toss everything together until the pasta is evenly coated with the luscious basil pesto. If the sauce seems too thick, you can gradually add more pasta water until you reach your desired consistency.

5. Serve and Garnish:

Divide the pesto-coated pasta among serving plates. For an extra burst of color and flavor, scatter halved cherry tomatoes on top. You can also drizzle a touch of olive oil and sprinkle some extra grated Parmesan cheese over each plate.

Now comes the best part—indulging in your pasta dish. The vibrant green pesto paired with perfectly cooked pasta is a match made in culinary heaven. Each bite showcases the essence of summer with the aromatic basil taking center stage.  Buon appetito!

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