02 September 2010

Green sauce of joy!

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If you've read my most previous blog post, you'd know that I'm starting to grow my own herbs, including basil which has been growing beautifully!! The first thing that popped into my head when I was thinking of recipes, of course, was the very delicious and very SIMPLE....PESTO!!!

Pesto is so delicious and can be eaten with ANYTHING, except ice cream! lol I love it with chicken, fish, salad, but most of all PASTA!

I understand that traditionally, pine nuts are used in making pesto but since I didn't have pine nuts on hand I decided to make them with what I did have which were some toasted hazelnuts. I'm a huge Giada DeLaurentis fan and I remember her saying that it's totally okay to use whatever nuts you like in pesto, despite what hardcore, traditional, old-school Italians say, sooo I'll take her word for it! :)

Here is a different, but still tasty version of a not so traditional Italian sauce.

Spaghetti w/ Hazelnut & Garlic Pesto

- Half box of semolina spaghetti pasta (about 6 or 7 oz)
- 3/4 C of fresh basil
- 2 clobes chopped fresh garlic
- 1 C toasted hazelnuts
- 1 C grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 C extra-virgin olive oil
- food processor or blender

*the amounts of the ingredients can vary depending on personal taste. Do the taste test often while making to fit your standards.

While the dry ingredients are mixing in the blender/processor, drizzle extra-virgin olive oil until desired consistency. I like my pesto a bit chunkier than usual. Serve over pasta while it's still hot. No salt and pepper necessary. Nuts are salted and so is the cheese. The garlic gives it a nice spicy bite, so adding salt and pepper wouldn't do anything to it :)

I can eat pasta dishes by themselves, but by all means, you can go ahead and add some protein in there like grilled chicken breast or shrimp..maybe even a side salad or bruschetta if you so desire!! ENJOY!!

I'm getting hungry again. NOT GOOD!

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