Basil Pesto

Its go on a winter holiday day!

We are packed, ready and rearing to go.  We have warm winter woolies, trailer loads of food, bikes, balls and games.  We have Pimm’s for me, wine for Dear Husband and freshly baked goods for the um… er… the kiddos.  We have our boots, our trainers and our beanies.  Dear Husband has three fishing rods and I have a stack of new books.

Looking around it seems that I have once again managed to pack up 90% of our earthly belongings. Seriously, we may as well be moving house.  Not exactly the simplification the word holiday would imply.

Before we rev our engines though, I wanted to leave you with something that is actually simple.  And by simple I mean, something that is wonderful, flavorsome and splendid despite its simplicity.  This roasted garlic pesto pasta is so ridiculously easy to make that even a group of 8 year olds can whip it up.  This is factually correct because I have watched a group of them do it.

The extra dimension in the pesto which you get from roasting the garlic adds something a little new to this classic sauce, one of my all-time favourite flavours.  Basil pesto is generally regarded as a kitchen staple and I can’t seem to get enough of this stuff in the wintertime.  I add it by the tablespoon to soups and stews and even to my Thai Green Curry sauce.  My advice is to make a truck load, it won’t go to waste.

Now as for the pasta; if you don’t have a pasta machine, the time or the inclination to roll your own pasta, buy a batch of fresh pasta from your local (Tanni Woolie does a great range).  Whatever you do you must put this particular pasta on this week’s menu, I promise you won’t regret it.

Happy winter holidays friends, stay warm and stay safe.

What you need

For the quick pasta
200 g flour
2 eggs
Pinch salt
1 Tbsp. olive oil

For the Pesto
3 whole garlic cloves, unpeeled
2 tsp. olive oil
¼ cup pine nuts
2 cups fresh basil leaves
½ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper
¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

What to do

  1. To make the dough, mix all the ingredients by hand and knead into a smooth dough.
  2. Form into a ball and allow to rest for ½ hour.
  3. Roll according to the machine instructions.
  4. Place the garlic cloves on an oven tray and toss with the olive oil.
  5. Roast in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for about ten minutes or until fragrant and the color of the cloves is golden.
  6. Remove and allow to cool slightly, then peel and chop.
  7. Toast the nuts in a dry frying pan over medium heat, stirring frequently, until just golden (about 3 minutes).
  8. Place the basil in a heavy-duty zip lock plastic bag.
  9. Pound the bag with a rolling pin until all the leaves are bruised.
  10. In a food processor, blend the nuts, garlic, herbs, oil, and a bit of salt until smooth.
  11. Stir in the Parmesan and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  12. Bring a large salty pot of water to the boil.
  13. Cook the pasta until al dente, just cooked, 2-3 minutes.
  14. Drain well.
  15. Toss with the basil pesto
  16. Grate over extra Parmesan cheese.
  17. Serve immediately.

4 Comments on Basil Pesto

  1. Nana31
    July 4, 2013 at 5:59 pm (7 years ago)

    Thanks Sam, I will definitely be adding this to my winter menu (maybe tomorrow)!

    • Sam Taylor
      July 5, 2013 at 4:27 pm (7 years ago)

      Hi Nadine, I hope you do and that it turns out fabulously xx Sam

  2. Jeanne
    July 25, 2013 at 3:54 pm (6 years ago)

    Pesto is one of those things that, once you make it, you simply can’t believe that you haven’t done so before – such deliciousness from such simplicity!

    • Sam Taylor
      July 26, 2013 at 8:36 am (6 years ago)

      Jeanne, that is how we roll around here, finding the simple but delicious. We loved how these photographs turned out.


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