Who doesn’t love Pasta?
I will be forever thankful to Italy, for bringing these pretty shapes of awesomeness in our lives. I love all types of pasta- spaghetti, penne, tagliatelle, ravioli, carbonara, bolognese, pesto….all of it!
My husband, on the other hand, who is the staunch lover of ‘ghar ka khana’ (home-cooked Indian food), is not at all a fan of international cuisines. He is a funny guy. I mean, when I tell him that I have cooked an elaborate meal for him (even if it’s Indian food), he barely smiles, but when I tell him that I have made frugal dal-chawal (lentils and rice) for dinner, his whole face lights up like a sun! Go figure. So, international cuisines is way out of his palette and many a times, I end up making two different meals for both of us, whenever I am not in mood to eat Indian food.
Basil Pesto pasta is one dish that even he likes! He likes the freshness of the fragrant basil, along with crunchy nuts and light drizzle of olive oil. He is a huge health-freak so there’s nothing in this dish for him to dislike. I, personally, am a fan of a pasta bowls loaded with red sauce or white sauce (foodie-alert!) with their richness galore but I sure am happy that I have found out one dish that is different than our routine ones and that we both can enjoy together.
Now, the traditional recipe calls for using pine-nuts but I find them too expensive to buy, just for using in a single dish. So, I usually use cashew-nuts or roasted peanuts for making this pasta. Using these for crunch is very essential as it makes a huge difference in the otherwise flat dish. Also, I use the cheese powder in my pastas (again, hubby and his calory-phobia!) but you can use fresh grated Parmesan, which is obviously better.
Give this aromatic recipe a go and enjoy!
– 2 cups fresh basil leaves
– 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil + extra for drizzling
– 3 tbsn pine nuts or cashewnuts or roasted peanuts
– 3 garlic cloves
– 2 tbsn grated Parmesan cheese + extra for topping the pasta
– 1 tbsn lemon juice
– A few cherry tomatoes
– Salt and pepper to taste
– Pasta of your choice
– In a food processor- add the basil leaves, nuts, lemon juice and garlic. Start grinding everything up while slowly adding the extra virgin olive oil. Grind till you get a coarse mixture.
– Transfer the pesto mixture to the bowl and stir in the grated parmesan, along with salt and pepper. Add in more olive oil if your pesto looks dry. Set aside.
– Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the back of the pack.
– In a bowl, mix your cooked pasta and pesto gently so that it all gets well combined together. Top it up with more Parmesam cheese, cherry tomatoes, salt & pepper. Lastly, drizzle some lovely extra virgin olive oil all over the pasta.
– Serve with garlic bread or as it is. Enjoy!
– First time I tried making this pasta, I foolishly decided to stir-fry the pasta and pesto in a frying pan, like we do noodles or fried-rice. It completely ruined the pesto! Do not cook this pesto but enjoy the aromatic and flavorsome mixture as it is.
– You can sneak in small amounts of other green vegetables in pesto too along with basil in your pesto. You can do spinach and basil 50/50 for a more healthy option.
– I especially love to have this pesto with spaghetti but any pasta shape will do beautifully.