Pesto originates from the town of Genoa, located in Liguria, Italy. It is popular because of its strong herbal flavours of basil and pine nuts, which is complemented by spicy garlic and salty parmesan cheese. In America, butter and cream is added to make it richer, but I myself recommend you stick to this version because it's lighter and more authentic. Have it with a crusty bread and a lemonade or Sprite...
To watch my video, go to the link below:
1/2 cup penne
Water, salt and olive oil for boiling
1/2-1 cup basil leaves (fresh)
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tbsp pine nuts * <
3 tbsp walnuts * <
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt to taste
Dash of crushed black pepper
Parmesan or pecorino cheese, shaved or grated (vegetarian variety, e.g. Cowhead, Sargentos)
Cherry tomatoes, split in half for garnish
1. Boil the pasta with water, salt and olive oil until al dente (firm and tender enough- NOT TOO SOFT AND NOT TOO HARD)
2. Toast your pine nuts and walnuts till fragrant if you like. This step is optional
3. Heat oil, add garlic and cook till fragrant. This step is also optional
4. In a blender, add basil, nuts, garlic and about 2-3 tbsp olive oil, and grind to a fine paste.
5. Heat a little olive oil, add pasta and basil pesto, and toss them together.
6. Add cherry tomatoes & toss again.
7. Top with parmesan cheese and serve hot with your favourite salad, roast vegetables and/or crusty bread.