Pasta is a favorite in my home. And good tasting pasta is surprisingly easy and fast to cook. No slogging for hours. The key lies in good ingredients. Though, we regularly like the tomato sauce base, once in a while we do try the pesto base. Traditionally, pesto sauce uses pine nuts but you can make do with walnuts especially in India where you do not get pine nuts easily. We have a bounty full of basil leaves in the garden this year. So I am using it in everything from pani puri water to coconut chutney to pesto, of course :).
Here is my simple recipe:
500 gm. Any good pasta
1 cup packed basil leaves
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
20 large walnuts
3 cloves garlic (I love more garlic)
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
Salt to taste
2 large tomatoes diced
Method: Combine basil, garlic, grated cheese, walnut, pepper and salt in a blender to prepare your pesto. Blend in the extra virgin olive oil by running the blender and pouring the oil in a stream. Don’t make a very fine paste, just blend it together nicely. You can store any leftover pesto in the fridge.
Boil your pasta in hot water for 10-12 minutes as per pack instructions. Remember to salt your water and drain your pasta when al dente (still has a bite). It continues to cook when off the stove. Now throw together the cooked pasta with pesto and tomatoes and mix well. Serve immediately. It is simple, tasty and nutritious. Enjoy!