Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Pesto Linguini

It's amazing to me how something a simple as a pesto sauce can transform a boring plate of pasta into pure alchemy. I love pesto sauce because of its vibrant green color which indicates that it's something fresh and exciting! Pesto isn't hard to make at all; just let your food processor do all of the work. Plus you don't have to cook the sauce, it warms up from the heat of the pasta. And since it's finally spring this recipe is very fitting because pesto linguini can be lunch or a light dinner or lunch. Use any pasta shape you want, even better use fresh homemade pasta for a more authentic taste. I also love to serve this with a nice grilled chicken breast or a pan-seared piece of cod for dinner. And here's a really great idea to make a pesto pasta salad; boil rigatoni, toss it with the pesto sauce, sliced red onion, olives, and sundried tomatoes and there's a great spring or summer lunch. 

4 cups (4 oz.) fresh basil
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves
handful of pine nuts
3/4 lb. dried linguini 
salt and pepper

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil then add the linguini to the boiling water and cook for 6-7 minutes until al dente

Meanwhile, in a food processor blend the basil, Parmesan cheese, garlic cloves, pine nuts, salt, and pepper then slowly add the extra virgin olive oil while it blends

Drain the pasta but save some of the water back in case you want to loosen the pesto linguini and toss the pasta and the pesto together until well incorporated

Serve each plate with a nice portion of the pesto linguini and crusty bread