PASTA AL PESTO GENOVESE - from Antonia with translation by Luca Guala - home

PASTA AL PESTO GENOVESE (a typical recipe from Genoa)

Antonia is making pesto sauce right now, so I thought I could send you this recipe too. It's very easy if you can find all the ingredients. No cooking involved. Very fresh taste and good for summer and on sunny days.

a large bunch of basil
a little bag of pineseeds (or are they
called pine nuts?)
a small bunch of parsil
(parsley - Rene)
one clove of garlic
about 75 grams of pecorino (sheep's cheese)
(really worth searching for if you can find it - Rene)
and 75 grams of parmesan cheese
1/4 litre of extra virgin olive oil

The measures are very rough but you don't have to be really accurate with this sauce, and you can easily suit it to taste and fantasy. Keep in mind that the main and basic ingredients are basil and olive oil, the rest are flavourings you can experiment with.

Cut the basil in pieces, put it in a liquidiser with some olive oil and process it. As it gets broken down and fluid, add the pineseeds, the garlic and last the mixture of cheeses. Add a little salt to taste (mind that pecorino cheese is normally fairly salty already). Make sure you keep adding oil to keep the mixture fluid (but not liquid!). Don't put too much cheese in it... you can always top the pasta with it when in the dishes.

The sauce is ready when it gets a uniform and "saucy" consistence. No cooking needed. You can make a lot then freeze it, we freeze pesto in small "one dose" plastic bags, so we don't even have to de-freeze it! leave some basil leaves to top the pasta: they will look great!

Cooking the pasta is done in the same way as explained on the Bolognese sauce recipe, best pasta for this sauce are medium size spaghetti (no. 5) or fettuccine.

You can experiment variants: some add a personal taste, others may compensate unaivailability of some ingredients:

1) small, very ripe tasty tomatoes can be cut in pieces and used to top the pasta: they will add flavour and colour (the white pasta, the green sauce and the red tomatoes will give to your dish a distinct Italian look!)

2) the extra virgin olive oil can be partly substituted with normal olive oil, vegetable oil or even butter, but at the expense of taste and genuinity

3) pineseeds can be substituted and/or complemented with cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts... just unleash your fantasy: Antonia mixed the pineseeds we picked in the country with some macadamias I brought from Australia.

4) you can use only pecorino or only parmesan or substitute them with an available salty and flavoury cheese (stilton?)...

5) one easy trick (but it's a bit like cheating) is to buy a ready made pesto in a supermarket and "flavour it up" with fresh ingredients... (don't you dare - Rene)

buon appetito!

ciao Luca