Basil Pesto Pasta
1/4 pound pasta of your choice
1/4 cup Basil Pesto (recipe follows)*
2 peeled and diced vine-ripened tomatoes or Slow-Roasted Tomatoes
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
*A good-quality prepared basil pesto may be substituted.
Cook pasta according to package directions to al dente. Just before draining the
pasta into a colander, remove 1/4 cup of pasta water; set aside. Drain the
pasta, put back in the pot, and then stir in the Basil Pesto and the reserved
pasta water, a little at a time, to create a sauce.
Add diced tomatoes and toss to coat thoroughly. Transfer onto individual serving
plates and garnish with sliced fresh basil leaves and shavings of Parmesan
Makes 2 servings.
You will have more pesto than you need for the above recipe. You can cut the
amount of pesto recipe, but I encourage you to make the full recipe. It will
disappear quickly on bread, pizza, toast, baked potatoes, etc.
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
3 cups (3 ounces) fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Wash the basil, discard the stems, and dry thoroughly. In a blender, add garlic,
pine nuts, and salt; process for approximately 15 seconds. Add basil leaves:
using pulse technique, turning on and off, to shred the basil. With the machine
on, drizzle in the olive oil to create a coarse mash. Add the Parmesan cheese
and pulse to combine.
Makes approximately 1 cup.
The pesto will keep for up to 4 weeks in a covered container in the
refrigerator. Pour a thin film of olive oil on top of the pesto to prevent
discoloration. For longer storage, do not add the Parmesan cheese until ready to
use. Below are some ideas on how to freeze pesto:
Spoon the pesto into a foil-lined custard cup; cover tightly with foil and
freeze. Once frozen, remove the foil-wrapped packet and store in a freezer bag
for up to 2 to 3 months.
To use, thaw in the refrigerator overnight, or remove from the foil and thaw
quickly in the microwave. Add Parmesan cheese just before serving.
Freeze in ice cube trays.
Spoon into a ziploc bag and freeze.