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Sunday, 28 August 2011

Penne Al Pesto Genovese


Pesto is a handy sauce to have in the fridge for a quick meal. I used to buy the little jars but after learning how easy it was to make, I decided to make my own.

It's name comes from the Italian for "pounded" and is a reference to the way it is traditionally made in a pestle and mortar.

There are many different sorts of pesto with different flavours but the one most people consider the classic green pesto is pesto genovese. My version is as follows...

You will need:

Large handful of basil (or two of the supermarket sized packets)
Handful of pine nuts
1 clove of garlic
Handful of grated parmesan
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Teaspoon of white wine vinegar
Dried penne

Mash up the pine nuts, garlic, basil stalks (not the leaves yet) and parmesan until you have a smooth paste (use a blender or a pestle and mortar). Chop the basil leaves until they are about 2mm squared (I do this so you can see the leaves... ). Add this to the mixture with the oil and vinegar and stir until the ingredients have combined and season to taste.

You can use it immediately but I like to leave it in the fridge for an hour so it sort of marinades itself.

Cook your pasta, drain, return to the pan and stir in enough pesto to coat it. Any left over will keep for about 3-4 days in a jar or covered container.

Serve immediately.

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