Jason has always made a delicious pesto pasta, but after he went to a cooking class in Italy and picked up a few tips there, it is now even more delicious! The secret to a good pesto pasta (other than technique) is to have good ingredients: fresh basil, good parmesan, high-quality extra virgin olive oil, and good pine nuts. If you have these things, the flavours will be spectacular.
You can make a simpler (and cheaper) pesto with other ingredients, and sometimes we use other cheeses because it is nice with different flavours. Fresh pasta works best, of course, and a nice salad with some rocket and tomatoes really makes the dish well rounded 🙂
Ingredients Serves 4
Cooking time: 60 mins (if making your own pasta, otherwise 25 mins)
- 400 g flour (if making your own pasta)
- 4 eggs (if making your own pasta)
- 1 clove of garlic
- A handful of fresh basil leaves
- 2 tbs pine nuts (plus extra for serving)
- 100 g grated parmesan (plus extra for serving)
- Olive oil
Our recipe uses a mortar and pestle, but you can use a food processor. If using a food processor, do not mix for too long as the heat affects the basil leaves.
- If you are making your own pasta, see the steps here.
- Cut a small edge from the garlic clove and put in a mortar with a large pinch of salt.
Note: Use the edge as it isn’t as strong as using the middle.
- Crush the garlic in the mortar. Pound the garlic at first, but then grind it until liquidy.
- Add the basil leaves and grind until the mix is smooth. This can take at least 5 mins, but you really want to make it smooth and get all the liquid out of the leaves.
- Add the pine nuts and grind until smooth.
Note: It is OK to have some pieces of nuts left – it doesn’t have to be totally smooth.
- Add the grated parmesan and 3 tbs olive oil, and mix with a spoon.
- Cook the pasta. Before draining the pasta, take 2-4 tbs water from the pan and add to the pesto.
- Mix the water and the pesto, so that the sauce is more runny.
- Drain the pasta and put it back in the saucepan with some olive oil.
- Mix the pesto into the pasta and serve on a plate.
- Add some salt and pepper, a dash of olive oil, a sprinkle of pine nuts, and some grated parmesan.