Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Pasta Pesto

I love pesto.  When I visit my sister in Santa Cruz, I have to stop by Pizza My Heart at least once for their pesto pizza.  Sigh.  Green food.  :)  This is a very basic pesto, but you can easily switch out the green and the nut for a different effect.  For example: Switching out the basil for arugula, and the pine nut for pecans, you can then have a pesto that's perfect for topping grilled chicken.  Another option is to use walnuts or pepitas, and split the basil with half spinach.  I like this with fajitas.  The spinach also makes for a very bright and springy pesto.

2 well-packed cups of basil, and 1/3 c. of pine nuts which I always toast and cool first.  Pulse a few times to chop, but don't go crazy here, 6-8 times max.

This is how it should look.  Then add in 3 cloves garlic, minced, and pulse a few more times.  Then, begin to slowly drizzle in 1/2 c. of olive oil while to motor is on, until the mixture looks like a wet paste.

Like this.  :)  Then scrape down the sides, and mix in 1/2 c. of grated Parmesan, then season to taste with SnP.  Sometimes I add a little lemon if it needs to brighten up.

Toss with hot cooked pasta, I used Orecchiette, but use what ever you like best.  I just like saying Orecchiette.
 Serve with more Parmesan, a salad, and if you'd like, some hot bread.  I also love pasta pesto with grilled chicken slices, or even shrimp.  Do what you will.  :)

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