A friend asked me if you could make pesto with a blender. Of course, and I sometimes make it this way when I do not have the luxury of time to do with a mortar and pestle. All you need to do is place the pine nuts, garlic and some olive oil and blend it, then add the basil leaves, olive oil, salt and freshly grated Parmesan cheese and blend to a smooth paste. Including plucking the leaves and washing up, this will take you roughly 10 minutes to do. Previously I mentioned that pesto with the mortar & pestle method stays vibrant for longer, but to be honest, making it with the blender also gives you a vivid green pesto. So no shame in using a blender to make it.
Farfalle with Homemade Pesto, Cherry Tomatoes and Walnuts
Now that you have a jar of lovely homemade pesto, what do you do with it? My favorite way of using it is to eat it with pasta. You can use any type of pasta, but my preferred ones are farfalle (bowtie pasta) and fusilli as I find that the pesto clings on better to these two types. We've also tried it with homemade tagliatelle. All you need to do is cook the paste until al dente, then mix well with the pesto and then top with cherry tomatoes and walnuts. I think the last two ingredients brings out the best in the pesto and are the perfect accompaniments to pesto.
Since I am vegetarian for the day on the first day of CNY, I am thinking of making this. Who says you can only have Chinese food on CNY eh? ;)
Farfalle with Homemade Pesto, Cherry tomatoes, and Walnuts
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
150g farfalle pasta
200g Japanese cherry tomatoes, quartered
2 tsp Parmesan cheese
A handful walnuts, roughly chopped/broken
2-3 fresh basil leaves, to garnish
1 portion homemade pesto alla Genovese (recipe here)
1. Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and cook pasta according to packet instructions, until al dente. Remove from heat and drain. Place in a large bowl.
2. Add 3 tsp water (from boiling pasta) into the homemade pesto to smoothen the paste. Add the pesto to the pasta, reserving about 2-3 tsp for garnish. Mix well, ensuring the pasta is coated evenly with pesto.
3. To serve, divide pasta equally between serving plates. Arrange cherry tomatoes and walnuts, then place a quenelle of pesto in the centre of the plate/bowl. Garnish with a fresh basil leaf. Sprinkle with more Parmesan cheese if desired. Serve immediately.