I am usually a tomato sauce person , but sometimes one needs a change. Then it’s pesto time 🙂
You can get a jar of pesto from the store, but if you have a few minutes, I highly recommend making your own. It is super easy and versatile, you can use it in pasta, sandwiches, bakes, as a dipping sauce, you name it.
A traditional pesto would use pine nuts, but those are not very easily available here and are super expensive! So i switch it up and use walnuts instead. Still Bomb!
A good parmesan cheese and olive oil are key to a good pesto. There are now so many local brands making great cheese that it’s now really accessible.
Cook the pasta per the packet instructions, till al dente and mix in the amount of sauce you like. It’s that simple!
Penne with Pesto
- 500g ready to cook penne pasta (or any other pasta of your choice)
- Water to cook pasta, per packet instructions
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves
- 6 cloves of garlic
- 1/4 cup walnuts
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan
- 1/3-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (per preference)
- Salt to taste
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- Wash and dry the basil leaves. Add to a food processor with the walnuts, garlic and 1/3 cup olive oil
- Let it blend till smooth, add some more olive oil if needed
- Mix in the cheese till well combined. Add salt and pepper to taste
- Boil the pasta, till al dente, as per packet instructions. Once done, keep 1/4 cup pasta water aside and drain the rest
- In a large bowl, mix the pesto, pasta and pasta water till well combined. Adjust for salt and pepper. Serve!