There is no doubt I am a busy mom of two who is always on the go. My time is very limited, so I love to prepare quick meals in the kitchen for my sweet bambinos. My daughter, who is five, has been a fan of my Spaghetti al Pesto since she was two. She affectionately calls it “green pasta” and requests it often. I have had many friends ask for my recipe and to be honest, I never really measure when I make pesto. I have been making it for so long, I just kind of throw everything together and it always turns out great. This past weekend I whipped some up and at the last minute, decided to take photos so I could share my recipe. My pictures are not the greatest, as it was getting dark and I was trying to take the photos in my poorly lit kitchen.
Simplicity is the key to this dish and all you need is extra virgin olive oil, fresh basil, three to four large garlic cloves, freshly grated parmigiano reggiano and raw pine nuts. Ingredients are combined in a food processor for a speedy way to create a delicious pesto in minutes. (If you have time, you can forgo the food processor and use a mezzaluna for chopping the ingredients.)
The end result is a gorgeous dish of Spaghetti al Pesto that will knock your socks off. Why spend $13 on a plate at a restaurant when you can serve dinner for four for less than that? Well, it might be a little more depending on the cheese. While you can pick up a decent grated parmigiano reggiano at the market, I always splurge and get a nice wedge imported from Italy. Trust me, it is worth the money! This dish is versatile, as you can add chicken or shrimp and can always use a different type of pasta.
My daughter is always happy when she gets to eat her favorite dish. I hope you enjoy my recipe.
- Fresh Basil (if using the packs from the store, use about 11/2, if picking from your garden, use a large bunch and add more if needed)
- 1/4 cup raw pine nuts plus additional for toasting
- 3-4 large garlic cloves
- 1/2-3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- 3 TBSP EVOO
- 1 lb spaghetti
- Boil a pot of salted water and prepare the spaghetti.
- Wash the basil and dry thoroughly. Remove the leaves from the stems and place into a food processor.
- Add your 2 tbsp of olive oil, pine nuts, garlic cloves and about half of the cheese.
- Pulse until everything is evenly blended and has a nice consistency. At this point, I taste the pesto and see if I need to add more cheese, basil, garlic or pine nuts. Everyone has different taste, and that is the beauty of this recipe. You can alter it as needed. I then add the rest of the olive oil and a tad more cheese if needed, reserving the rest of the cheese for a topping.
- Prior to draining your spaghetti, toast a handful of pine nuts.
- Once your spaghetti is nice and al dente, strain and return to the pot away from the heat. Add your pesto and toss thoroughly. Transfer to a serving dish and top with grated parm, fresh basil leaves and toasted pine nuts.
- Serve and enjoy!