Saturday, May 28, 2011

Simple Basil Pesto Pasta

First off, I want to apologize for being "absent" the last month.  I've started a pretty demanding job and it's harder for me to post!  Regardless, I'm back in the game and will try my best to post as much as often.

Even though I'm working long hours I still make the time to cook.  This recipe is super quick, delicious, and easy to make on a week night when you're flat out exhausted!  Tons of flavor, and again one of those recipes that reheats nicely the next day.  Pair this with some cheap Trader Joe's white wine (Sav Blanc Picton Bay is nice, $6.99) and you will start to unwind immediately!

Servings: 2
Prep Time: 7 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

*1/4 Cup toasted pine nuts
*2 Cups packed of fresh basil, stems removed
*2 Garlic cloves, peeled
*1 teaspoon salt
*1 teaspoon pepper
*1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
*2/3 Cup Olive Oil
*3/4 Box of Dry Pasta (I used Farfalle & Penne, what I had in my cabinet)
*1 Cup grape tomatoes (optional)

Put pot of water on stove for the pasta so it can begin to heat up.

Meanwhile, heat a small saucepan over medium heat.  Add pine nuts immediately and toast until browned tossing the entire time.  About 2 minutes.  BE CAREFUL, pine nuts toast quickly so do not walk away!

Once water begins to boil, sprinkle water with a large pinch of salt and add pasta and cook about 8-10 minutes until al dente.  While pasta is cooking, take out food processor or blender.  Add fresh basil, garlic cloves, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.

Put the lid on and remove the attachment on top so you can stream in olive oil.  Start processor and slowly stream in olive oil until mixture forms a runny paste.  Hint: If pesto is really runny add more basil, if it's not nice and smooth add a little more olive oil.

Once pasta is done, strain and put back in the pot.  Add a little of olive oil on the bottom of pot so pasta doesn't stick to the dry hot surface.  Add pesto on top and coat pasta completely.

Serve on individual plates and add raw grape tomatoes on top!  YUM!