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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Spaghetti Al Pesto

Simple and frugal is sometimes the best. And i feel that in case of all the pasta recipes that I have worked on/tasted, this is the thumb rule. I would never have thought of combining basil with ingredients olive oil, garlic and cheddar cheese I had I not stumbled on this recipe. And was quite skeptical to begin with. Another reason why this post got delayed. The primary was that I could not find a good Parmesan and pine nuts to begin with. But a recent recipe that I caught on the cookery show convinced me that I could use a Cheddar-walnut combination to make this recipe. And that the basil can be partly substituted with baby spinach. But I stuck to the basil bit. And haven't regretted it a bit.

Read on for the delightfully easy recipe (while I ponder what to do with the leftover pesto....BTW it is sitting pretty in my fridge covered with a generous layer of EVOO). But for those with a nut allergy, do try out Nigella's Pasta Alla Genovese -



















Preparation Time - 15 mins ( Not a min extra...mind it )

Ingredients -


  • 150 gm durum wheat spaghetti
  • 1 cup lightly packed Italian basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive oil
  • 1/3 cup lightly toasted walnuts
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 garlic flakes
  • 7-8 peppercorns (freshly crushed/ground)
  • salt to taste


Preparation - Chop the garlic flakes and basil leaves.

Take all the ingredients (except for lemon juice and EVOO) in a blender and buzz till you break it all into small bits. Add the lemon juice and EVOO in a trickle till it is well incorporated. The pesto is now ready.

(Actually the quatity will be good enough for two times with a little bit leftover for a chicken and pesto sandwich. Make sure you add a layer of EVOO over the pesto when storing it in a airtight container in the fridge. )

Cooking - Boil 9-10 cups water in a saucepan. When bubbles begin to appear, add sufficient amount of salt to the water. Once it gets to a rolling boil, add the spaghetti.

Cook for 12 mins or till al-dente. Remove 2-3 tbsp of the water and add it to the pesto.

Drain the water in a colander, give it a good shake and toss back the spaghetti into the same vessel in which it was cooked. Add the diluted pesto and toss to uniformly cover the spaghetti strands.

Serve immediately or even after sometime. Tastes good even when served cold.


















Note - It takes about 2 litres of water and 1 tbsp of salt to cook 200 gm of spaghetti in the right way.

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