I love a good pesto! Of course if you want good pesto you'll need to make it yourself. No good pesto, from my experience, has ever come from a jar. And not to mention the price! yikes. Most of the ingredients you have already in your pantry. The one wild card just might be the basil. You can readily get fresh basil at any store, that's not the problem. But the basil itself bruises and turns black very quickly. Even if you make it the same day you buy it, the pesto itself goes downhill pretty fast once you start chopping it up. So instead of basil I like using fresh spinach. It's cheap, pre-washed and prepped for ease and won't turn brown before you make pesto or while making it:)
Start with a good hunk of parmesan cheese, don't buy pre-grated if you don't have to.
Cut it into big chunks and...
Gather ingredients: spinach, cheese, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper
With the food processor on drop in 2 whole garlic cloves to chop fine.
Next add in spinach...
after all that is combined drizzle in the olive oil until it's emulsified.
Give it a taste and add salt, pepper to your liking. I usually need to add a bit more spinach or cheese to balance things out. You'll know when you taste it.
Place in fridge til ready to use...look at that beautiful green color, love it!
My husband likes his pesto tossed with penne pasta (I have rice pasta here for a gluten free meal), some peppers, sun dried tomatoes and chicken.
While you're prepping veggies and chicken put a large pot of water to boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Warm a skillet over med-high heat. Toss peppers in olive oil for a couple minutes. Remove to a dish.
Add in chicken to cook through
Toss back in the peppers along with sun-dried tomatoes, stir and turn off heat.
Before you drain your pasta always reserve a cup of cooking water, this will help bring the dish together in the end.
Drain pasta and place back in pot. Add in a couple dollops of pesto and stir to combine. This will be pretty thick so add in some of the starch water, not all, just enough to make your pasta creamy.
Penne Pasta with Pesto
2 cloves garlic
3 big handfuls of spinach
1/3 c pine nuts
1/2 c parmesan cheese
1/4 c olive oil
salt and pepper
With the food processor on drop in 2 whole garlic cloves. Next add in spinach, pine nuts, cheese one at a time, combining after each addition. After all that is combined drizzle in the olive oil until it's emulsified. Give it a taste and add salt, pepper to your liking.
For pasta dish:
1/2 yellow pepper, chopped
1/2 orange pepper, chopped
1/4 c sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in hot water
boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut to bite size pieces.
Cook pasta according to package instructions. Reserve 1 c of cooking water before draining.
While pasta is cooking, in a large skillet over medium high heat toss peppers in olive oil for a couple minutes. Remove to a dish. Add in chicken to cook through, toss back in the peppers along with sun-dried tomatoes, stir and turn off heat.
Add pesto to hot pasta and stir adding reserved water if needed. Stir in chicken and veggies, enjoy:)