Homemade pesto, tomato & mozzarella pasta

So, here I am in Italy for a while.  We have a little homestead here that is a perfect, get-away-from-it-all.  However, it needs work and we are here for some time to give it a bit of TLC and make it more inviting for visitors.  

Given the local fruit & veg markets, the genuine Artisan products available and the embarrassment of culinary richness accessible here, this is a perfect opportunity to get back to basics and start cooking from scratch.

Today I made some homemade pesto pasta mixed with beautiful sun-ripened tomatoes and some fresh, local mozzarella - for an even more nutritious and delicious dish, you could also add some wilted spinach.

 

Ingredients

  • ½ a clove garlic 

  • 1 big bunch of fresh basil 

  • 1 handful of walnuts (or any other nut you like)

  • 1 good handful of freshly grated Parmesan or Grana Padana cheese 

  • extra virgin olive oil 

Method

  1. Peel the garlic, then pound in a pestle and mortar with a pinch of sea salt.

  2. Pick, roughly chop and add the basil leaves, then bash to a paste (or pulse in a food processor).

  3. Add the nuts (very lightly toast first, if you like) to the mixture and pound again, then stir in half the Cheese.

  4. Stir in some oil – you need just enough to bind the sauce.

  5. Add most of the remaining cheese, then season to perfection with salt and black pepper. Taste, and keep adding a bit more cheese or oil until you are happy with the taste and consistency.

  6. Toss in chopped tomato, mozzarella & freshly cooked pasta of your choice

 

 

 

 

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CATHERINE'S
COOKING TIPS

#1 

Shop local and try to use seasonal ingredients - they will be freshest and most economical

 

#2

Buy the best you can afford - even if it means making do with less.

 

#3

Keep it simple - and as unprocessed as possible.  Butter and E.V. Olive Oil over margarine, spreads and processed vegetable oils,