May 25, 2020
Hi everyone. I have been neglecting you and I am sorry. We are now on what we think looks like the tail end of quarantine. When this all began back in March I was scared, nervous, but also kind of psyched with the realization of all the free time I would have. I felt super productive, creative, and motivated. I shall make my very own sourdough starter and homemade bread, work out 6 days a week, change my diet, and finally lose that 15lbs. I will post on my blog every single day and figure out how to finally do some cooking videos, oh, and I'll also......AND scene. Let's just say this has all shifted. Now, I HAVE done many things so I don't want you all to think I've been a complete and utter lazy bones. It's just, ugh. I'm over this already. Bleh. Right?
I was feeling particularly uninspired the other day, trying to get my head around what the heck I could make me and my hubby for dinner when all of a sudden out of nowhere, images of fresh basil leaves danced before my eyes. It's PESTO season. MUST. MAKE. NOW! I used Marcella Hazan's recipe as a starting point (of course because she's a goddess) and made a couple of adjustments to fit my taste. This meal takes minutes from prep time to filling your belly time. So make it tonight?
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
1 garlic clove roughly chopped
3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
1/2 scant cup EVOO (I usually measure between 1/3 and 1/2 C)
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons grated Pecorino cheese
3 tablespoons butter, softened to room temp
salt to taste
1 lb. fusilli, or pasta of your choosing
Bring a pot of water to boil and add a generous amount of salt. Taste the water. It should taste salty and if not, add more salt.
Meanwhile, put the basil, garlic, pine nuts, EVOO and a healthy pinch of salt in a food processor and purée until creamy. But, don't overdo the processing as you do want to retain some texture from the pine nuts.
Empty the pesto mixture into a serving bowl large enough to fit the pasta once it's drained. Mix in the softened butter and two cheeses. Taste and correct for seasoning. Boil the pasta according to the package directions but make sure it's al dente. No one likes mushy, soft pasta. Or at least, no one I know.
Reserve about 1/2 cup of pasta water and drain the fusilli. Add the fusilli to the pesto bowl and mix gently. If the pesto mixture seems too thick, add a little of your pasta water to loosen it up. There should be a thin coating of pesto clinging to the noodles. I like using fusilli because there's lots of hidden nooks and crannies for the pesto to get caught in. It makes for a great flavor and texture experience. Always taste again before serving and adjust your seasoning if needed. Feel free to grate more cheese and add some torn basil leaves to the individual serving bowls. I also add a handful of fresh arugula to the pasta and it adds a delightful, spicy crunch!