Creamy Pesto Pasta
Who would have thought that we would have to get half way through September before the basil growth was up to par for summer pesto!? That is Seattle for you. We don’t have summer until the middle of August, and then it is on its way out at the end of September. Jealous much? Ha ha ha… probably not ☺
But now, we have tons of basil, and I have to use it before the little critters get to it. When it comes to using up large quantities of basil, my favorite way to do it is with pesto!
Because I am a sucker for pretty, I blanched my basil. It keeps the basil that gorgeous bright green color that I want all green cooked veggies to be.
Pesto is so phenomenal with pasta. It is fresh and herbal and floral all at the same time. I just added cream because I knew my kids would like it. And because I am a glutton. Also because I thought the slightly lighter green would look really pretty with these purple heirloom cherry tomatoes I found…
Also, because of a recently discovered allergy to pine nuts (starting last year, whenever I eat pine nuts, my tongue goes numb and bitter for TWO WEEKS!! No. I am not kidding. Apparently many people are suffering this reaction and it has to do with the chemicals they use in growing modern pine nuts. Weird, huh?) Anyways, because of the allergy, I subbed raw, peeled and slivered almonds.
I folded in the Parmesan after I made the pesto, and then I whisked it into a cup of hot cream, (but for the record, I have made this with half and half and it was just as good!) Tossed with hot al dente spaghetti, this is incredible. I like to mound freshly grated Parmesan and slice sweet tomatoes on the top.
Creamy Pesto Pasta, serves 6
-1 lb pasta (I used spaghetti)
-3 cups packed basil leaves
-½ cup slivered, peeled almonds
-½ cup olive oil
-2 cloves garlic
-2 lemons juiced
-Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
-1 cup freshly grated Parmesan, (plus more for garnish)
-1 cup cream
-1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1)Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
2)Prepare an ice bath.
3)Boil the basil for about 1 minute and then plunge into the ice bath.
4)Drain the basil and set aside.
5)Bring the pot of water back to a rolling boil and put the pasta in to cook.
6)Cook the pasta to al dente according to the manufacturers directions.
7)Put the cream on the stove in a small saucepan over medium heat.
8)Meanwhile, in a blender, add the garlic, the almonds, the basil and the oil and lemon juice.
9)Puree until the pesto is creamy and bright green. Adjust the flavor with salt and pepper.
10)Transfer the pesto to a bowl.
11)Fold in the Parmesan cheese.
12)When the cream is simmering, take it off the heat.
13)Whisk the pesto into the hot cream.
14)Toss the pasta with the creamy pesto.
15)Pile with Parmesan and add tomatoes. Enjoy!