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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

the happygirl guide to the perfect pesto

Spring means the return of simple food, fresh ingredients from the farmer's market. This week I bought basil and garlic and made a light, vibrant pesto that made for one very happy dinner.

the happygirl pesto recipe
1/4 cup walnuts
3 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup olive oil (lemon flavored olive oil lends a great fresh essence to the pesto)
1/2 cup shaved parmesan
2 cups fresh basil leaves (I used all the leaves from a living basil plant- found in most supermarket produce sections)
Sprinkle of salt and pepper

Add all ingredients to a blender and mix for 1 minute. You can also use a food processor but I've found that by using a blender the pesto has a smoother quality.

Traditionally pesto is made with pine nuts but try experimenting with different nuts. Walnuts and pistachios are wonderful in pesto.

If possible, shave your own parmesan or buy shaved parmesan from your local market.

To incorporate the pesto into the pasta, toss them together in a bowl before serving. This will coat each piece of pasta in the sauce.

To use immediately, while your pasta is boiling, warm the pesto on low in a saute pan, stirring often. Paparadelle pasta  is excellent with pesto.


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