Quick, easy, healthy and mui bueno – you cannot beat that combo. Mike and I grew some basil from seeds in our first apartment in Sunnyvale, CA. It was the biggest, juiciest basil explosion we had ever seen. We’ve been trying to recreate it ever since – without success. When we had a ton of this beautiful basil we needed something good to do with it – PESTO.
After talking to our co-worker from Italy about how to properly make pesto I was intimidated: You can only use basil that is grown on the Mediterranean coast of Italy, you can only use real Italian olive oil (I think from the city he was born in) and you can only use Parmesan cheese from Parma, Italty – you have to grind it up by hand with a mortar and pistil made of marble from Cararra, Italy. It sounded borderline like a magic potion. But since I do have my magic wand (aka stick blender), I just went for it – breaking all the rules and yet ended up with something really yummy!
- 1LB (500g) penne pasta – cooked, drained and returned to pot
- ⅔ cup freshly grated Parmesan (50g)
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- 1 cup packed basil (ca. 30g), 2 small plant pots, or 2 packages
- ¾ cup olive oil (ca. 175 ml)
- garlic powder, or fresh garlic to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
1. Get your pasta boiling with some salt and oil.
2. Grate the cheese, plug basil leaves, measure olive oil and pine nuts and add it all to your mixing container.
3. Blend it all up with your magic wand or food processor. Be a little patient, you might have to unplug the blender (!), scrape out the sides of the blade and do it some more. It will eventually look this beautiful 🙂
4. Add seasoning of garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste and blend it all together, then scoop the pesto on your boiled and drained pasta. Toss.
5. Serve with a smile and knowing this only took you about 20 minutes to make from start to finish 🙂