Monday, October 24, 2011

Creamy Pesto Pasta

One of my ultimate favorite pasta is the creamy pesto pasta. I love the freshness of the aroma of the basil leaves sipping through the creaminess of the sauce. I have learned to master how to cook it. Hope you enjoy this too!

For the Pesto-

2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the Pasta Sauce -

500 g pasta (farfalle OR penne is my favorite for this dish)
olive oil
1 tsp finely minced garlic
3 quarts water
salt & pepper
1 cup of heavy cream
grated parmesan-reggiano

To Make the Pesto -

Combine the basil in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor. (If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse them a few times first, before adding the basil.) Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.
Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Makes 1 cup. Set Aside

To Make the Pasta –

  • Cook pasta in about 3 quarts boiling water and olive oil until just barely tender to bite, 7 to 9 minutes. Drain.
  • In a saute pan, saute minced garlic in 2 tbsp olive oil. Do not let garlic burn. Then add about 1.5 – 2 tbsp pesto sauce. Cook for about 2 minutes until bubbly.
  • Lower to medium heat then add the heavy cream in the saute pan, whisking continuously until the cream starts to bubble. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add your drained pasta to the sauce covering every nook and cranny with the creamy goodness. I usually use penne or farfalle for this pasta dish. Cook until the pasta has been covered with sauce. Take off heat.
  • Serve with parmesan cheese on top and some fresh basil or parsley.

You can throw in some grilled chicken, mushroom,shrimp, brocolli. Whatever it is that you fancy. I like mine plain pesto. :) I hope you like it too!

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