Sunday, January 22, 2012

Linguini con Pesto Genovese

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
This dish came up because of my desire to figure out what else to do with extra basil leaves. They are quite pricey and they don't last very long. I can make more pesto sauce but I also have an extra jar in the fridge that I made earlier and I'm out of pine nuts. It was then that reading through Sophia Loren's cookbook, which seems to be my favorite this weekend, did I come along a recipe for Pesto Genovese. I know, it is still pesto but it does help me use up the remaining basil leaves that I have without having to throw them out. 

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
What is unusual about this pesto sauce is the absence of nuts. I'm not sure in terms of culinary history how this came about but I trust an Italian when she says, just use basil and two kinds of cheeses and you are set. It is more of a pistou which originated from the Provence area while the traditional pesto is from the city of Genoa in the Liguria region. The traditional pasta for this dish is the trenette which are thin, long and flat pasta although a linguini can be used as a substitute. 

Linguini con Pesto Genovese - Adapted*

3 garlic cloves, peeled
3 cups fresh basil leaves
3 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
3 tbsp grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
1 lb linguini pasta

1. Place all the ingredients for the pesto in a food processor except for the 
    salt. Process to a coarse paste. Season with salt. Transfer to a small jar 
    and protect with a layer of olive oil. Set aside.

2. Cook the pasta according to packet instructions until al dente. Drain in a 
    large bowl and keep a little bit of the pasta water on the side. Dress with 
    the pesto sauce and mix well. If a bit dry, add a little bit of the pasta 
    water until the pasta is dressed evenly. 

3. Serve immediately. 

*Loren,S., Sophia Loren's Recipes and Memories, GT Publishing, New York: 1998.

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