Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Monday Meal: Spring Pasta with Pesto

Posted By on June 24, 2014, 3:02 PM

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After a long Utah winter, I always look forward to fresh basil from the garden. Right now our basil is thriving, which makes it a perfect time to make pasta with pesto sauce. --- I like to keep my pesto simple and uncluttered: basil, butter, pine nuts, olive oil, garlic, cheese, salt and nothing else.

One of the things I like best about this pesto recipe is that there is no cooking involved (except, of course, the pasta).  


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Ingredients:

2 cups of tightly packed fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 Tbsp. pine nuts

3-4 garlic cloves, chopped

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

2 Tbsp. freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese

3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

1 lb. dried pasta or 1 1/2 lbs. fresh (I like to experiment with various pasta types, although I find that thinner, more delicate pasta shapes work best with pesto. I wouldn't, for example, use pappardelle, rigatoni, or other thick, heavy pastas.)

Salt 


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Method:

Rinse the basil leafs under cold water or in a salad spinner. Blot the basil dry with paper towels.


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Place the basil, garlic, olive oil, pine nuts and a pinch of salt into a food processor bowl. Process the mixture until you have a creamy consistency. If the mixture is too dry, add a splash more olive oil and pulse a little more.


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Empty the basil puree into a bowl.


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Mix the two cheeses in until thoroughly incorporated. Then, add the softened butter and mix until it is also thoroughly incorporated.


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Cook pasta to al dente, reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta water.

Drain the pasta and place into a large bowl or onto a big serving plate. I like to add a tablespoon or two of the reserved pasta water to the pesto to thin it out a little, just before serving. Spoon the pesto over the cooked pasta and toss to thoroughly distribute the pesto throughout.


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I prefer pasta with pesto at room temperature or lukewarm, not steaming hot. So you can make it a little in advance. It's even great cold. 

Photos by Ted Scheffler

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Trailer


12 Years a Slave
Rated R · 134 minutes · 2014
Official Site: www.12yearsaslave.com
Director: Steve McQueen
Producer: Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Bill Pohlad, Steve McQueen, Arnon Milchan, Anthony Katagas, John Ridley and Tessa Ross
Cast: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Garret Dillahunt, Paul Giamatti, Scoot McNairy, Lupita Nyong'o, Adepero Oduye, Sarah Paulson, Brad Pitt, Michael Williams, Alfre Woodard, Chris Chalk, Taran Killam, Bill Camp, Kelsey Scott, Quvenzhané Wallis and Cameron Zeigler

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