There are days when I don't feel like cooking. Linguini with fresh pesto is one of my go to pasta recipes when I'm busy and don't have a lot of time to cook. I love pasta dishes that by the time the pasta is aldente, the sauce is finished. This dish is one my favorite odes to summer although I like making it any time of the year if I can my hands on some fresh sweet Italian basil. My son and husband make lots of yummy noises while eating this. It'll satisfy the carbo lover in you too! You can use Grana Padano or your favorite commercial brand of Parmesan cheese instead of Parmigiano-Reggiano. Our local Le fromagier/ cheese guy swears he can't tell the difference between a Grana Padano and a Parmigiano-Reggiano so use whatever Parmesan cheese that works for you.
1 Pound of Linguini (Barilla is our favorite pasta brand)
2 cups washed and packed fresh sweet Italian Basil (leaves only, discard the stems)
1 cup of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (you can buy this pre-grated or pre-shredded at Whole Foods Market).
2/3 cup of roasted pine nuts (toasted in the oven for 15 minutes or until it acquires a nice tan)
1/2 teaspoon of sugar
1 fresh garlic clove
2/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Kosher or sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste (I use a blend of of black Tellicherry peppercorns, Szechuan Peppercorns, and pink peppercorns in my pepper mill).
Cook your linguini according to package directions. While the pasta is cooking, prepare your pesto: Using a food processor, "pulse" the rest of the ingredients except for seasonings (salt and pepper) until you achieve a smooth and slightly gritty consistency. Adjust the taste with salt and pepper. Scrape every little bit of the pesto into a large bowl and fold in hot linguini. Serve while hot!
Click here for another quick and easy pasta recipe (published in the Harvard Business School Centennial Cookbook).
Have a fun summer!