1 cup of fresh basil
1/2 cup fresh parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1-2 Cloves of Garlic
*If you want to add pine nuts, use 1/4 cups.
Combine basil, parmesan cheese, olive oil, salt, garlic & pepper in food processor. Pulse until blended, but still a rough texture. Be sure to scrape the sides of the processor a few times to make sure it is mixed in.
Pine nuts are the original designated nutty flavouring, but it is expensive. Fair number of people is also allergic to pine nuts, so it is advisable to test with a little batch before venturing into massive scale production.
There are also suggestions of using walnut to replace pine nut. The skin of the walnut has a slight bitter taste whereas pine nut has a sweet taste to it.
You want to be aggressive and take all your frustration out, buy one of this mortars and the pounding would do you good. “Pestare” is to pound and thus the name of “pesto” = “I crush”. Besides from simple basil leaves, you can add some parsley leaves to it. Cilantro is another good choice. Cilantro possesses a rather pungent smell. Make sure you are agreeable with it.
Basil can be grown in a pot or outdoors. It can grow like wild fire and all through the summer you should not have a short of supply of this herb. Pesto sauce can be stored in the fridge very well.
When you are in a pinch and you want food fast. You can heat up the pesto in a pot or pan while cook your pasta in another pot. When the pasta is done, just transfer it directly to the sauce, mix it up, add some parmesan cheese to it and enjoy. For other variation, you can get some prosciutto – the Italian ham, and serve together with the pasta. That should improve the appearance.
And taste of the dish. Some hot pepper flakes would get more color and spice up the pasta as well.
For even more pleasing to the eye, grape tomato cut in half would be a good garnish for the plate.
Thai basil is different. It has a purplish stem and the taste can be bitter. Vietnamese cuisine “pho” will always give you a plate with lime, Thai basil and bean sprouts when you order “pho”.
This pesto pasta is so simple to make and the taste depends solely on the quality of olive oil and parmesan cheese. Please do not be frugal when you are purchasing both. Fresh grated parmesan cheese works the best. You can always grate it with an ordinary vegetable or cheese grater and for better appeal, try using a vegetable peeler and shave the cheese into long thin strands.
Bring out a gingham table cloth. Put a candle on an old Chianti wine bottle. Warm up a baguette in the oven. Chill down a bottle of your favourite white wine, then serve this pesto linguini to your lovely lady … Life is good.