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Monday June 9, 2014 MYT 4:19:00 PM
Monday June 9, 2014 MYT 4:29:13 PM
by susan selasky
The beauty of pesto is that it’s simple to make: Add all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and hit pulse. Within a minute or so, you have this terrific tasting condiment/sauce with many uses, such as mixing it with pasta. You can simply add the pesto alone or gussy it up like we do in today’s dish with tomatoes and olives. Best of all, this recipe comes together in 30 minutes. – Detroit Free Press/McClatchy-Tribune Information Services
Pesto2 cups tightly packed basil leaves2 cloves garlic, peeled, toasted if desiredSea salt to taste1/4 cup toasted walnuts1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese6 to 7 tablespoons olive oilPasta340g penne or other short pasta1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes1/3 cup Kalamata olives, quartered1/2 to 3/4 cup pearl or cherry-size fresh mozzarellaFreshly ground black pepper to tasteBasil leaves for garnish
To make the pesto, process the basil, garlic, salt, walnuts and cheese until the leaves are coarsely chopped. With the machine running, add about 6 tablespoons olive oil (more as needed) until the mixture is smooth but still somewhat paste-like. Taste and adjust seasoning. Set aside.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions in salted boiling water. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water and drain the rest. Leave the pasta in the pot. Stir in the tomatoes, olives and desired amount of pesto and heat through. If the mixture seems too dry, moisten with a little reserved pasta cooking water or more pesto.
To serve, warm pasta bowls, add pasta, top with the fresh mozzarella pearls and garnish with basil leaves.
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