Thursday, November 8, 2007

Pasta al pesto (and another gift)

Pasta al pesto

Yep, I’m a lucky blogger. You guys have spoiled me so much!
I have received many gifts from different parts of the world and that is so amazing.
The beautiful place mat you see on the photo is a present from a very dear Brazilian friend, Luna – thank you for making my table more beautiful, sweetie!

Some people are so versatile. Take Mark Ruffalo, (one of my favorites) for instance: he can be cute, adorable, and super sexy.

Some things are as versatile as Mark – and I have found out that pesto is one of them. I have seen it as pasta sauce, canapé topping, and even spread on pizza.

It took me forever to try pesto – Karin told me I was gonna love it – and my decision was to try it in Rome. I did – it was OK, but when I looked at my plate I was kind of disappointed. I wanted my sauce green, not sort of green.

Determined to change that weird first impression, I made my own pesto. And all I can say is that after the pasta was gone I rushed to grab a piece of bread – there was not a single drop of sauce left on my plate.


This is my post for this Weekend Herb Blogging, created by the lovely Kalyn and hosted by The Expatriate Chef, from The Expatriate's Kitchen.

Pasta al pesto

Pasta al pesto
adapted from a Brazilian book

400g fettuccine – or use the pasta shape you prefer

2 tablespoons chopped walnuts*
¾ cup (180ml) extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves
1 ½ cups basil leaves (packed)
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta until al dente.
In the meantime, prepare the sauce: place the ingredients in a bowl of a food processor** and process until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
When pasta is ready, drain and reserve ¼ cup (60ml) cooking water; add the reserved water to the sauce and mix well.
Transfer pasta to a large bowl, add the sauce and mix.
Serve immediately.

* use pine nuts for a more traditional take on pesto
** I used a blender and it worked wonderfully.

Serves 4


Cheryl said...

I don't comment alot when people make regular food. But every once in a while something just makes me drool and I must talk.

I love pasta, and pesto is such an awesome partner for it. I just love the taste. This plate had me drooling.

Wendy said...

Terrible to admit but I haven't made a pesto that I like more than the mass produced stuff I buy in the supermarket! You've inspired me to try again. :)

Karin W. said...

Pesto is one of those condiments you may become addicted to.

When I was in Rome, I tried some storebought Italian Pesto. I know that the Italians are very fussy about their food, but the brand I bought wasn´t half as tasteful as homemade pesto.

The label of the jar said: Pesto Genoviese. Too oily.

Homemade pesto is superior to that bought in a jar.

Julie said...

Simple yet always delicious, you can never go wrong with pesto.

Deborah said...

I started growing my own basil to specifically make pesto. You are right - it goes well with many things!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

My daughter got me hooked on pesto. She makes it with about 10 cloves of garlic and it's wonderful (if you like garlic, which I do).

Tijen said...

I love Brazilian food Patricia. During the time I spent there, I tried so many things and took so many pictures that I was worried Marcelo got so tired of me taking pictures before starting to eat. I hope I'll be able to write the book I'm planning so that I can use some of the photos I took.

Andreea said...

this sounds so good. i love pesto. delicious sounding recipe

pam said...

I love pasta and pesto, it's one of my favorites! Once you've started making pesto, you'll find a dozen different uses for it, from pasta to pizza!

Anh said...

I agree! Home-made pesto is so much better! The pasta dish looks so wonderful!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

It's true--a good pesto can enliven so many dishes. I never tire of it.

Anonymous said...

Hi Patricia, I love ur blog! I really appreciate it that u have metric conversions on all ur recipes. I've never tried pesto, but have always planned to..Basil is difficult to find and expensive here in Singapore. Won't let that deter me though! Thanks for dropping by my blog, keep in touch!

Cynthia said...

The placemats look beautiful. I am always amazed and feel blessed by the generosity of my fellow bloggers. Just this week I got spoons all the way from Australia!

test it comm said...

I really like pesto pasta. So simple and yet so good. I will have to try it with walnuts the next time I make it.

Anonymous said...

I love pesto also. We just harvested our crop of basil and made a big batch of it. It was on pizza tonight and we'll do pasta like you have done tomorrow. Yours looks great!

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Welcome to the wonderful world of pesto -- there are so many things you can do with it. And you've probably figured out by now that it is exposure to air that takes away the gorgeous green color, so keep it covered with olive oil in the fridge, to keep the basil from oxidizing, and your pesto will stay bright green.

Anonymous said...

Homemade pesto rocks! It's great because you can control how much of each element (the nuts, the leaves, the cheese, the oil, the garlic) goes in. I'm glad you got to make certainly looks delicious :) Try experimenting with different nuts and will love the differently flavors!

Pat said...

Oh I just love pesto, but never tried it with walnuts. I must give this a go... Thanks!!!

Kajal@aapplemint said...

cant believe its ur first time with pesto.... i simply adore it... tired it with all diff kinds of nuts.... and cant spot until i've seen the end of it too :)
I know for sure u'll be making it a lot now :P

Sneige said...

simple, but soooo delicious combiniation!

SteamyKitchen said...

I love pesto so much that I started growing my own herbs just for different variations of pesto!

kickpleat said...

haha, mark ruffalo is my favorite hottie actor!! "you can count on me" is one of my favorite films ever. and back to the food, your pesto looks great!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Cheryl, that is quite a compliment, thank you, sweetie! *blushing*

Wendy, you definitely should!

Karin, they can be as fussy as they want, but the pizza we eat here in Sao Paulo is better than the pizza I had in Rome. I also had better pizza in Paris than in Rome.
And you are responsible for me trying pesto, my dear friend! :)

Julie, you've said it all.

Deb, I can't wait to start spreading it around! :)

Lynn, I can imagine the flavor and the aroma... Delicious!

Tijen, you can't imagine how great it is to hear something like that. It makes me glad and proud! I'd also love to hear more about your adventures here. I'm going to a wonderful restaurant next week (my birthday) and I'm so excited because I'm a huge fan of the chef!

Andreea, thank you!

Pam, so many different ways to use it, all of them delicious, I'm sure!

Anh, tks, dear!

Susan, I don't think I will get tired of it, either. :)

Farhan, tks for stopping by, too! I appreciate it! I will definitely keep in touch!
I can send you some basil seeds, if you want, so you can try to grow your own basil - how's that?

Cynthia, so true! People are just amazing and warm, I feel so blessed!

Kevin, I'd love to hear your opinion about it.

Andy, yummy! Something tells me that the big batch won't last long... :)

Lydia, can you believe it took me so long to try it? That is a great tip you gave me - I didn't have any left to keep, but when I do I'll know how to make it last longer. Tks, dear!

Joey, I will try the different versions, I can't wait!

Pat, let me know if you try it, dear!

Kate, I know! I should not have waited so long! And I will be making it very often now! :)

Alita, it is!

Jaden, that is a great idea.

Kickpleat, I haven't seen that movie, but I will try to find it! And I really like "We don't live here anymore", too.

Paola Westbeek said...

Yum! This is one of my favorite pasta recipes. I often make jars of pesto and that pretty much takes care of an easy dinner!


T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

I have made pesto with pine nuts, but have never tried to make it with walnuts. I suspect that gives it a deeper, meatier taste, which must be wonderful. It sure looks tasty, Patricia!

Anonymous said...

Delicious! Beautiful mat.


Sarah said...

I've got a ton of homemade pesto that I keep in tiny containers in my freezer so I can pull out specifically what I need. I love having it on hand!
You should try it on top of an excellent steak some night--it is an amazing combination.

Lisa said...

Oh, that pasta looks so delicious—just perfect! The photos make me want to dig right in. Thank you for sharing that; I'm inspired. I just bought a pasta-making machine (the hand-crank kind), and I can't wait to try it out—maybe with pesto sauce!

Peabody said...

I just posted about this...the great blogging community that is. Your pasta looks very tasty.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Paola, I was amazed by how quickly I put the meal together and how great it tasted!

T.W., I didn't like walnuts as a kid but now I love them... :)

Paz, tks, sweetie!

Sarah, I try it with fish and make it with steak for my husband - great idea!

Lisa, a pasta making machine??? How wonderful! I know you'll be making some delicious food, my friend!

Pea, I'll check your post, dear - and you are so right, the people are amazing!

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