My kids love pasta (I mean, who doesn’t?), and they consume A LOT. It’s been a while now since I stopped buying store-bought pasta sauces. Our family’s all-time favourite is definitely homemade pesto. I make a batch and freeze it in small blocks. They freeze perfectly fine, in my opinion, and when I need some I simply remove a frozen cube and microwave it for 30 seconds, then toss it into a nice, warm pot of cooked pasta. I top it with a perfectly poached egg and a sprinkle of red chili flakes for a sophisticated lunch with a glass of red wine!
Makes about 1.5 Cup
3 cups basil leaves
2/3 cup raw pine nuts
150 ml good quality extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
Salt and pepper
Special equipment: High power food processor (I use KitchenAid 3.5 CUP Mini Chopper)
Put pine nuts into a medium to large frying pan and heat on medium-high heat, shaking the pan regularly to make sure the pine nuts are getting lightly brown and toasted all over, but not burnt. About 2-3 minutes. Set aside.
Put basil leaves, toasted pine nuts, and parmesan into the food processor on high speed and pulse process until ingredients are mostly grain size. Add salt and pepper to taste. With the motor running, pour in the olive oil in a slow stream through the pour spout until a smooth, silky, bright green sauce is formed. Taste again and add more salt or pepper if needed. Serve over freshly cooked pasta (ideally shapes that have more surfaces to coat with sauce, such as bucatini, fusilli, or rigatoni). Use a generous amount of pesto, freshly grated Parmesan, and a touch of freshly ground black pepper.
Extra sauce can be frozen in silicon ice cube trays or any other freezer-friendly containers for up to 2 months. Simply reheat in microwave for 30-45 seconds. Colour of pesto might be slightly darker due to oxidization from long exposure, but it’s absolutely safe to consume.