Pasta con Pesto

Pasta con pesto is addictive. I love garlic, I love basil, and I love pine nuts! This is a dangerous pasta for us, we tend to eat too much and forget about the carb. I remember the first time making this in Singapore (before even having eaten this pasta in any restaurant), I wished I had cooked more, later on I started adding prawns, scallop and fish into the dish thinking atleast I can eat more because there are some healthy ingredients and not just carb I am eating.

This time I measured the ingredients for the pesto sauce, Willem has some adjustment he would do to the end result but it suits my garlic-ky taste bud fine. It’s up to you if you want to add more of one ingredient than the other, after all it’s your taste bud that likes it or not.

Ingredients (serving 4) – No problem if you are only making for 1 or 2 persons, you can keep the pesto a few days in the fridge by topping some olive oil to seperate it from the air, close the jar tight; you may want to use this for your fish dish the next day like I am today.

Pasta con Pesto

ingredients for the pesto sauce

  • 7 cloves of garlic (I have added much more than this, see from my ingredient pictures)
  • 40 grams of basil leaves (without the stem)
  • 40 grams of pine nuts (some recipes use less pine nuts)
  • 10 grams of parmesan cheese (some recipes have added much more up to 40 grams but I personally don’t like so much parmesan cheese in my pasta)
  • 10 table spoons of olive oil
  • Spaghetti 80 gram per person
  • 1 table spoon salt to add in the boiling water for pasta
Put the peeled garlic, unroasted pine nuts, basil leaves, parmesan cheese and 10 tablespoons of olive oil in the food processor. Blend until they are all mixed and mashed.
Pasta con Pesto

Put pesto ingredients into food processor

Pasta con Pesto

Process the ingredients

Put the pesto sauce aside, cook the spaghetti for 8 minutes in boiling water, remember to add the salt in the water. Keep a cup of the boiling water before straining the spaghetti out. 

Now heat up (low heat) a pot/pan, put in the cup of spaghetti water, the spaghetti and as much pesto sauce you like. Mix them well and serve on plate. Some like the pesto sauce very thick, some like it more diluted, some like it with a lot of olive oil. Taste it and decide which version you like and adjust the amount of water/olive oil accordingly.

This is the easiest pasta to make at home yet not many people do it and I wonder why.


About MyTasteHisTaste

Love eating and wine drinking.
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One Response to Pasta con Pesto

  1. Willem says:

    Pesto makes for a great pasta indeed – I am very glad Aiwee makes it 🙂

    Personally I would use about half the pine nuts, double the cheese, a bit less garlic, and a bit more olive oil. High quality extra virgin olive oil is essential here! And grate the cheese yourself, pre grated is no good!

    Also, I would after blending the pesto, also pound it extra with a pestle and mortar…but of course those inefficiencies are not Aiwee-style :p

    Myself, I also add a little bit of parsley sometimes, and maybe a touch of freshly grinded pepper.

    But all is, I agree fully with Aiwee, a matter of personal taste. The brilliance of this dish is in the simple but great combi of the ingredients, not in the exact amounts.

    For this dish if you want a very nice match, a bit richer wine from the gruner veltliner grape would be great. Mostly these come from Austria, and the richer ones are called ‘smaragd’. Take a recent year for the needed freshness next to the herby basil influence. A bit richer wine to match the cheese (parmesan is dry so a bit easier on wine the soft cheeses…), and match the oil. Next to the oil and cheese some acidity is needed as well.
    I am now thinking Domane Wachau gruner veltliner smaragd ‘terrassen’, a nice cuvee, 2009. We have three bottles of that left 🙂

    I never tested but assume a very rich sauvignon blanc might go as well (maybe Alto Adige or the top level Loire ones).

    But, since the very Italian signature of this dish, a very Italian wine would be nice as well!
    Then, I would go Soave.
    Soave is a region that makes whites of the carganega grape. Take a recent year. Soave often is very bad, because of too high yields and bad winemaking, but can be great and then has much of the effects of this type of Gruner Veltliner (though different!).
    So…depend on the winemaker. There are three I recommend (and maybe only one or two others good that I know less): Suavia, Inama, and Pieropan. Inama is the ‘richest’ in taste, so use that if you use a lot of cheese. Suavia has the most ‘minerality’, so would be great if you do Aiwee’s trick of adding seafood to this pasta. For Aiwee style pesto I would go for Pieropan, a very ‘iiquid’ (hahaha) refreshing wine, nicely aromatic, lean but with body, very balanced…
    Have to score a bottle soon!

    (we drank the 2010 two weeks ago at ‘O’, a nice fish place in Maastricht, and we both really liked it)

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