Pasta with Pesto Sauce


Living in San Francisco on Russian Hill, this pesto was made for me one cold evening - rich, earthy, Italian, and fresh. This recipe is tried and true. Pesto sauce takes 5 minutes, so have your pasta ready. This dish goes well with a robust Italian red wine. Keep leftover pesto in a jar with a small float of olive oil on top. ~Mark
1 pound spaghetti or linguine
1 ounce parmesan cheese (Reggiano is best, double amount if you love cheese)
2 cups fresh basil, packed tight, stems removed.
1 large clove garlic
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup pine nuts, walnuts - well toasted
3/4 cup olive oil
1 Cook pasta according to package directions. If unsure, cook 5 minutes, taste to ensure noodle is not mushy and has a little bite. Drain, reserving a ladle of pasta water.

2 Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender, grind the cheese until fine. With motor running on medium, through food tube add garlic, salt, pine nuts, and black pepper, process 1 minute.

3 Pour one-third of the cheese-nut mixture into a bowl. Set aside.

4 To processor, add basil and oil and blend for 1 minute.

5 Add back cheese-nut mix and blend on low speed until just incorporated - avoid a smooth, bland texture, about 20 seconds.

6 Toss pasta with pesto for a good minute. If necessary, loosen the mixture by adding pasta water, a little at a time, for proper consistency.

servings  use metric
original recipe yield: 4 Servings
Notes NOTE Pasta should be cooked al dente - so the tooth" of the pasta absorbs sauces. Often restaurants swirl butter in a pan with pesto and pasta.

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