For a spicy alternative, rocket leaves can be added to the basil and pounded together or you could try a parsley combination… cooked chickpeas can be used in place of pine nuts in case of nut allergy, and gluten free pasta works fantastically!
Fresh from the garden: basil, garlic
Recipe source: pesto adapted from a recipe by Alice Waters in The Art of Simple Food
Serves: 4 or 24 tastes
What to do:
- Fill the large saucepan or stockpot with water and set it to boil.
- Weigh the pasta and add it to the pot when boiling with a tablespoon of salt – cook for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, pick the basil leaves from the stalks and weigh before you wash them! Then wash in several changes of water and thoroughly spin-dry the basil.
- Heat the frying pan on a medium heat and lightly dry-toast the pine nuts, shaking regularly so that they don’t stick.
- Peel the garlic clove and place in the mortar and pestle with a good pinch of salt. Pound these to a paste.
- Grate the parmesan cheese.
- Add the pine nuts to the mortar & pestle and continue to pound. Once smooth-ish, transfer to the bowl and stir in the parmesan.
- Tear the basil leaves and put them into the mortar with a sprinkle of flaked salt. Pound the leaves to a paste. Return the pine nut mixture to the mortar and, pounding it all together, gradually pour in all the olive oil.
- Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary, then using the spatula, scrape out the pesto into a clean big mixing bowl.
- When the pasta is cooked, scoop out into the pesto bowl with a small amount of cooking water to moisten. Divide among bowls and serve!
Notes: With what else can you use pesto? What also goes with well with basil? Why do we toast the pine nuts? Can you name any other pasta sauces?