Pesto Pasta Recipe
This vegetarian recipe makes about double the amount of pesto that you will use for a pound of pasta. Store the leftover pesto in an airtight container for one week in the refrigerator, or freeze it in a small jar or airtight plastic bag for several months.
Pesto is a sauce that’s traditionally made with basil, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, garlic, and olive oil. This dish is best in the summertime when basil is fresh and you can make a batch of pesto from scratch. Pesto is a snap to make and will fill your kitchen — and maybe your whole house — with the wonderful aroma of fresh basil.
When you can’t make your own pesto, you can substitute ready-made pesto from the supermarket and have dinner ready in minutes.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes or less for pasta
Yield: 6 servings (about 1 cup)
3 cups chopped fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
4 cloves garlic
4 tablespoons pine nuts
6 tablespoons Parmesan cheese or a combination of Parmesan and Romano cheeses, plus extra for garnish
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
1 pound fettuccine or other pasta
1/3 cup pine nuts
6 cherry tomatoes and several sprigs parsley for garnish
Place the basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and black pepper in a blender or food processor.
Process until well blended and smooth, and then dribble in the olive oil and continue processing until the mixture is the consistency of a smooth paste.
In a large pot, cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain.
Combine the pesto, pine nuts, and pasta in the pot or in a large bowl and toss until the pasta is well coated.
Use more or less pesto according to your preference (a ratio of about 3/4 cup pesto to 1 pound pasta is typical). Add a few tablespoons of hot water to the pesto to thin it if necessary.
Serve immediately with grated Parmesan cheese. Garnish with cherry tomato halves and parsley.
Per serving: Calories 337 (From Fat 126); Fat 14g (Saturated 3g); Cholesterol 79mg; Sodium 75mg; Carbohydrate 43g (Dietary Fiber 3g); Protein 11g.