Garden Treats, Part II: Basil Pesto Pasta Using Linguini a.k.a., “Lingreeni”

Garden Treats, Part II: Basil Pesto Pasta Using Linguini a.k.a., “Lingreeni”

Garden Treats, Part II: Basil Pesto Pasta Using Linguini a.k.a., “Lingreeni”

 

After the zucchini, the next garden crop that required harvesting, pronto, was my basil. Apparently it’s a big fan of lots and lots of rain as well.

Take a look. The innocent little plants I began with have turned into veritable basil bushes. When basil gets ready to flower on its tips, you  know it’s time to take action. Come to think of it, those chives are calling out for attention too.

 

Basil Pesto Pasta Using Linguini a.k.a., "Lingreeni": Bushy basil

 

I decided to make a batch of pesto with the basil. Pesto reminds me of summer because it’s the only time I would consider making a recipe that calls for 5 packed cups of fresh basil. That would be a heck of a lot of little basil packages from the store in the winter.

Instead, I just whacked off the entire top half of one of the plants, washed the leaves thoroughly, and went to town making this simple yet delicious sauce.

 

Basil Pesto Pasta Using Linguini a.k.a., "Lingreeni": Washing the bushy basil

 

You can use pesto in various ways: smeared on bruschetta, spread on burgers and pizza, or even mixed with butter and brushed on freshly grilled corn on the cob. The way I chose to use this batch of pesto was as a sauce for linguini. Mostly so I could then call it “lingreeni”.

Not really.

Well, sorta.

Anyway, angel hair pasta or spaghetti would work very well too.

This dish became a lovely meatless entrée that my whole family devoured along with Italian bread, and a plate of sliced watermelon. Our plates looked like Christmas in July.

 

Basil Pesto Pasta Using Linguini a.k.a., "Lingreeni": Watermelon as a side

 

It’s important to prepare the pesto first, and just let it sit in a bowl at room temperature while you boil a pot of salted water and cook your pasta because the minute the pasta is done cooking, you’re going to want to bathe it in the pesto.

I used a pair of tongs to lift the cooked pasta out of the water, and immediately stirred it into the pesto. Don’t rinse the pasta. The sauce adheres better if you don’t rinse it, and it stays warmer longer too. If you find your pesto is a little too thick, just add a bit of the starchy pasta water to thin it out. Let the pasta and pesto blend for a couple of minutes, and then plate it. What you shouldn’t do is directly heat the pesto in a pot. Heating it causes the bright green color to turn black and the flavor to become bitter.

Here’s how you make the pesto sauce.

 

Recipe courtesy of: Ina Garten –  The Food Network

Ingredients:

1/4 cup walnuts (I didn’t use the walnuts, but doubled the pine nuts instead.)
1/4 cup pignolis (pine nuts)
3 tablespoons chopped garlic (9 cloves)
5 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups good olive oil
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan

 

Basil Pesto Pasta Using Linguini a.k.a., "Lingreeni": Ingredients

 

Directions:

Toast the pine nuts/walnuts in a pan for a few minutes to bring out their flavor. (Ina isn’t suggesting that you toast them, but I, Becky, am.) Place the walnuts, pine nuts, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process for 15 seconds.

 

Basil Pesto Pasta Using Linguini a.k.a., "Lingreeni": Toasted pine nuts and garlic going in for a whirl

 

Basil Pesto Pasta Using Linguini a.k.a., "Lingreeni": Toasted pine nuts and garlic - all whirled.

 

Add the basil leaves, salt, and pepper. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is thoroughly puréed. Do not, however, take a photo while doing this, or you’ll end up with a puddle of oil on your counter.

Been there, done that.

 

Basil Pesto Pasta Using Linguini a.k.a., "Lingreeni": Adding the basil and seasonings to the mix

 

Basil Pesto Pasta Using Linguini a.k.a., "Lingreeni": In goes the olive oil

 

Add the Parmesan and puree for a minute.

 

Basil Pesto Pasta Using Linguini a.k.a., "Lingreeni": And the fresh parmesan is added.

 

Basil Pesto Pasta Using Linguini a.k.a., "Lingreeni": And it's done! Look at all that green . . .

 

Use right away or store the pesto in the refrigerator or freezer with a thin film of olive oil on top. The oil helps protect the pesto by not allowing air to come into contact with it.

 

Basil Pesto Pasta Using Linguini a.k.a., "Lingreeni": So, so good.

 

This is a delectable meal.

It also leaves you with garlic-induced dragon breath for the next 48 hours.

If you’re going to eat it, which I strongly encourage you do, make sure everyone around you eats it as well.

Here’s the printable version of the recipe.

 

Ina Garten’s Easy Pesto

Serves 6
Prep time 15 minutes
Website The Food Network
A wonderfully easy, garlic-infused pesto sauce that's perfect for pasta, bruschetta, or mixed with butter and smeared on grilled corn on the cob.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 9 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 5 cups fresh basil leaves (packed)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup Parmeson (freshly grated)

Directions

Step 1
Toast the walnuts/pine nuts in a pan on medium heat until golden brown.
Step 2
Place the walnuts, pignolis, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process for 15 seconds. Add the basil leaves, salt, and pepper. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is thoroughly pureed. Add the Parmesan and puree for a minute. Use right away or store the pesto in the refrigerator or freezer with a thin film of olive oil on top.

 

Written by Becky


Website:

4 Comments
  • Patty from MMC says:

    After looking at all your delicious dishes, I am beginning to wonder …..what is Logan going to eat when he goes to Northwestern! College dorm food is definitely NOT of this quality or taste! You may find him coming home to eat a LOT!!! Or, you may have to buy him a good sized dorm fridge and a microwave to send him off with Mom’s cooking!!

  • Kim Roach says:

    OMG that looks so good! (I’m talking about the linguine and the basil plants!)
    Kim

    • Becky says:

      Ooh! Do you need some basil, Kim? As you can see, I have basil coming out the yin yang.

      Could anyone nearby use some fresh basil? Pretty please? (I’ve reached the inevitable phase of gardening where you begin to beg people to take your homegrown goodness home with them.)


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About Me:

Hi! My name is Becky. I’m a mom, a wife, a friend, a writer, and a compulsive thinker. Don't invite me to a spa or to shop the day away, but rather, make me laugh, engage me in interesting conversation, play a game with me, or give me a cappuccino and homemade vanilla bean flan and I’m yours ‘til the cows come home.

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