Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Walnut Basil Pesto Pasta

With the exception of the weekend, I don't have time for much cooking these days, and I don't anticipate that changing until the end of this semester...in May. I suppose that's what I get for thinking it's a good idea to work a full time job and teach two 5 credit classes. The bad thing about this whole situation, aside from bordering on crazy and not really having time to cook, is quite obvious: I get home from work late, tired, and brain-dead and just want something moderately good-tasting (sometimes I'd even settle for something mediocre) to be put in my mouth without having to lift a finger. What a lovely dream.
The good thing is that it has forced me to try to think of speedy dishes that taste good but won't make me grumpy with the effort. This pesto is one of those creations.
When I made this I had enough pesto for 4 pasta meals for 2 people though it may vary depending on how much pesto you like on your pasta. My husband prefers a light coating, as you may see from the picture. Some people like the pesto really coated on til the point that the pasta looks moldy green. It's really a matter of personal preference. If you plan on using up your pesto quickly, store it in the fridge for a few days and eat a lot of pesto that week (it also makes an excellent spread on lightly toasted Italian bread or on a sandwich). Otherwise, freeze the extra. Serve alone or with a side of salmon or grilled chicken with steamed vegetables.

Walnut Basil Pesto Pasta
Recipe by Kelly
Picture by Kelly

2 cups fresh basil leaves, tightly packed
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup walnuts
2/3 cup olive oil, divided
1/2 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese, grated 
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 pound thin spaghetti 
  1. Combine basil, garlic, and walnuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add 1/2 cup of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. If you plan on using the pesto right away, add cheese and pulse (if you plan on freezing the pesto, leave the cheese out until you're ready to eat it). Season with salt and pepper. Add remaining olive oil gradually, until it reaches your desired consistency. 
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water and cook pasta according to directions on package.
  3. Drain pasta and toss with several tablespoons of pesto (to taste). Freeze remaining pesto.

1 comment:

Caroline said...

This looks lovely, and I love the idea of having some in my freezer, especially on a day like today where I am not feeling too great.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...