Little hats of pasta covered with delicious, fresh green pesto is a great dish to serve your guests this Spring!
It’s always tempting to eat pesto by the spoonful. It’s so very fresh and so very green. The flavors of basil, pine nut, parmesan, garlic, and olive oil just play so very nicely together for a delicous Spring dish. I recently made this pasta for a dinner party and everyone just loved the little bites of orecchiette. Here is the easy recipe:
Spring Orecchiette Pasta Con Pesto
3 cups fresh basil, loosely packed with large stems removed
3 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted in the oven or a dry skillet
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano (or any other hard cheese), freshly grated, plus more for serving
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 anchovy fillets (optional)
1 pound orecchiette
pinch of red pepper flakes
Salt, to taste
Wash the basil leaves, discard the stems, and dry thoroughly. Place the pine nuts, anchovies and garlic in a food processor and pulse until mixture is finely ground. Add about half of the olive oil and a handful of basil. Process until the leaves are incorporated. With the food processor running, add more basil through the feed tube, a handful at a time, until all the basil is incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Add more oil to obtain the desired consistency.
Stir in the cheese with a spatula. Add salt to taste.
(Serves 4 to 6)
In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente; drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Return the pasta to the pot. Add the cooking water and the pesto and cook over low heat, tossing, until coated. Place in bowl and sprinkle red pepper flakes on top. Serve, passing more cheese at the table.
Substitute different herbs for basil, such as parsley, cilantro, or mint.
Substitute different nuts for pine nuts. Walnuts are a common alternative
Pesto is also great on crostini, salad, pizza, sandwiches, vegetables and more. Just experiment and enjoy. Happy Spring!
You can also find my recipe on Home/The HomeMonthly.com