Spaghetti with Pesto and some appetizers

What to say,
we are overwhelmed by the response we are getting on our little website!
Many emails are coming in, please do not take it personal if we are not able to respond right away…
we did not expect this project to blow up so fast, and we already have to improve our server capabilities and probably the website itself will undergo some upgrades.
For the time being! Deb and I would like to THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!

Alright then,
time to get going with our fourth episode!
Today you will learn to make the best and freshest pesto ever. Just one thing before we start: even if this dish does not require cooking, preparation time is longer then other (sometimes more complicated) dishes.That’s because you need to wash the basil, pluck the leaves, grate the cheese etc…BUT, the result is stunning, and at the end, it’s a very easy recipe.
Also make sure you keep an eye on the salt factor (Pecorino cheese is very salty) and how much oil you end up using…Even if Olive oil is one ofthe most important ingredients in Tuscan cooking, that does not mean you have to drawn your pasta in it!!!

Get you apron, your dish rag and put some cool music on, choose your bottle of wine…
May I suggest a Bruzzico, from Fattoria Malenchini in Bagno a Ripoli, Florence.
Let’s go!

INGREDIENTI

Serves: 4 / Prep time: 20 min / Cook Time: follow direction on Pasta Box

4 cups of Fresh Basil Leaves (about 4 oz)
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/3 cup of Pinoli. Plus three generous handfuls to set aside to be toasted later.
5 garlic cloves
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Sardo or Romano
1 teaspoon coarse salt
(Matteo’s Variation 1/2 Lb cherry tomatoes)
1

Rinse well the basil and separate the leaves from the stems.

2

Grate the cheese. Peel the garlic. Open the wine, start sipping.

3

Combine the basil, the garlic, the pinoli and the olive oil in a blender. Blend until paste forms. If your blender sucks (like mine), you'll have to stop often to push down the basil. If the paste gets too thick, and you already used all the olive oil the recipe call for, help it by adding a little bit of water (less than 1/2 glass)...

4

Add the cheese, salt and pepper…blend until smooth.

5

Refrigeratee until you’re ready to use it…it will prevent it from turning dark.

6

In a small non stick pan saute' the pinoli you have set aside, when brown remove them from the pan and cool them on a plate.

7

Cook the pasta...and please, cook it well !!!

8

Grab a half cup of boiling water and set it aside into a cup. When ready, drain it, and pour it in a bowl, add the pesto and start stirring the sauce; use the hot water, adding very little at the time, to help the pesto dissolve around the pasta.

9

Serve garnished with some grated parmesan or pecorino (just a touch), fresh ground pepper and a sprinkle of olive oil. Add the toasted pinoli on top.

You are ready to go!

Buon Appetito.

Debi and Gabriele