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Pesto Pasta

In pasta on August 25, 2010 at 1:26 am

It’s amazing what you can whip up with pasta even without cooking (except for boiling the pasta). And it’s easy to feed a party with this — the portion above was served on a gigantic Moroccan plate.

Pesto Pasta is essentially pasta mixed with pesto sauce. I’ve tried two variations, one without any cooking, courtesy of Veggie Chick; and the other with the basil blanched first, and the addition of anchovies, courtesy of Chef James Thong.

The name ‘pesto’ comes from the Latin root word ‘pestle’. Yes, you can use the pestle to crush all the ingredients, but it’s easier and faster to use the blender. Just dump everything in – sweet basil (not Thai basil), grated parmesan cheese, olive oil and pine nuts (or almond). If you’re using anchovies, chuck it in too. Just a few will do because it’s quite salty (and terribly expensive).

Besides serving pesto with pasta, you can also, like Chef James does, use it to make a few artsy swirls or blotches on the plate of food you are serving. Voila! Fine cuisine!

If you’re making too much pesto to finish in one sitting, just keep the rest in the fridge or freezer. The oil and salty cheese keeps it from going bad. When you’re too busy or tired to cook yourself a meal, just boil some pasta and mix in the pesto. You could also spread it on hard bread, like baguette. Yums! I can already taste it in my mouth.

Shopping list: sweet basil (you need to go to a supermarket that sells fresh western herbs), pine nuts, grated parmesan cheese

From the pantry: extra virgin olive oil and garlic

Optional: anchovies

Hardware: blender

Can I do it?: It’s as easy as plugging in a blender.

Tip: My cousin Patrick recommended adding butter, but frankly, I couldn’t taste the difference.

Credits: Veggie Chick of the Star’s ‘Don’t Call Me Chef’ and Chef James of the Loaf

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  1. I like the Moroccan plate! We love pasta and pesto too. Mushrooms will also be a nice addition to the dish if you got some lying around.

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