Today we learn how to make basil pesto pasta, a perfect side dish for your 4th of July BBQ. You can eat it hot or cold. Inspired by Massimo Botturo's pesto recipe, it has a few additions to make this pesto recipe a bit more interesting. But that's all optional, if you want to learn how to make easy creamy pesto sauce, then here ya go!
1 Lbs Fusili or other pasta of your choice
2 Bunches of Fresh Basil (10 oz)
1/2 Grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1-2 Cloves of Garlic, Grated
2-3 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/3 Cup Pine Nuts, Toasted
4 Ice Cubes
Cold Water as needed
Pasta water as needed
1 A handful of Green beans, Diced
4 Asparagus, Diced
1 1/2 Cup Cherry Tomatoes, Diced
Toast the pine nuts first in a dry pan over medium heat. Cook them just until you start to smell them and they begin to brown. Shaking and tossing them in the pan helps to prevent them from burning and helps them brown evenly. Set that aside
In a blender add the basil leaves, grated warm, grated garlic, olive oil, ice cubes, salt and a little bit of water to help it get going. Blend it all together well, then add the pine nuts and blend that into the rest of the ingredients. Add water and oil as needed to reach the consistency you’re looking for. I want a thicker pesto that I can loosen later if I need to with pasta water to ensure I still have a nice creamy pesto pasta. The ice will help prevent oxidation and keep that nice bright green color.
Next, get a pot of water on the stove for the pasta. Once it's up to temp, salt it. if you are going to use the optional add-ins, then go ahead and blanch those before the pasta and cool them down. Then cook the pasta to al dente.
Once the pasta is cooked, grab a mug and reserve about 2 cups of the pasta water just in case you need it. Then add the drained pasta to about 2 cups of the pesto sauce, add a little pasta water and a little more grated parm and start to toss that together to create a nice creamy pasta. Then add the blanched vegetables, the tomatoes, some of the toasted breadcrumbs and then give it another toss. Ready to enjoy hot or cold.
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