Traditionally, pesto is made from basil, EVO oil, Parmesan & pine nuts -it’s an ingenious way to use up your extra basil. I had some left-over from another lunch (though I did substitute pine nuts for walnuts, which worked really well). I had a fridge full of vegetables and the addition of a handful of french beans and some sticks of asparagus really took this dish up to another level!
The simple ingredients for this lovely dish!
The end product
For the pesto:
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
For the pasta sauce:
For the pesto:
Peel the garlic, then pound in a pestle and mortar with a pinch of sea salt.
Pick, roughly chop and add the basil leaves, then bash to a paste (or pulse in a food processor).
Add the nuts (very lightly toast first, if you like) to the mixture and pound again, then stir in half the Cheese.
Stir in some oil – you need just enough to bind the sauce.
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.
For the Sauce:
Bring a pan full of salted water o the boil
Add chopped beans & asparagus and boil for 2 minutes
Add 160g tagliatelle to the vegetables and cook according to the packet directions
Gently heat the pesto in a large pan and toss pasta and veg in this pan until coated with pesto, add a small amount of pasta boiling water to emulsify
Serve with a grating of black pepper and some Parmesan