Monday, October 8, 2012

[smallhanded QuAC] Challenge #1 - Spaghetti al Pesto & Mozarrella Tomato Salad

My dear Blog Readers...I've been talking about how work has been using up any free cycles that I have, but let me know bore you with this. A promise is a promise, and I am celebrating your voice by making something what you all demanded...

Let's quickly recap 
Question, Answer, Create #1 "What is your favorite cuisine?"

I think the one thing I appreciate about my blog readers is that they love food. And they appreciate a diversity, just like myself ;)

I was rummaging through my Project 30 stack of recipes for inspiration. (Better not ask me how far I am along with cooking through the recipes, or how much I have scrapped. It think 10% is my cooking status, and 0% accurately sums up my scrapping attempt; I have completed one interview with one friend...)

Then I ran across a Spaghetti al Pesto recipe, and a lightbulb went off. I have Basil that has been so prolific all summer, and the weather is getting colder. I better go harvest the last batch before they die in some kind of frost.

I had a business trip to Genoa, Italy, once, and I heard how they had a special Pesto that I had to try. It was rich and creamy, and bright green, and so different from the ones I have had here. I believe Pesto also originated in Genoa, so perhaps that is also why it is associated with it.

I was going with a basic recipe: some toasted, pine nuts, lots of fresh basil, parmigiano-reggiano, and good quality olive oil. And this is what you special little bottle as a gift that I was going to send off...

Spaghetti al Pesto

In truth I made enough to feed my house hold and my parent's household for probably 4-5 meals with just this... Or maybe more? I learned that a little bit of pesto goes a long way. Here the ratios

Simple Pesto

  • 2 c fresh basil
  • 1/4 c toasted pine nuts
  • 1/2 c reggiano
  • olive oil
  • salt, to taste

  1. Toast pine nuts until the flavors unlock
  2. Blend pine nuts, until ground
  3. Add basil & cheese to the blender
  4. Drizzle olive oil while blending until desired texture reached
  5. Add salt to taste

Easy peasy, or what?

Spaghetti al Pesto

And Florian and I had a batch of the freshly made green, decadent treasure tonight...

Spaghetti al Pesto

Another stunning dish to accompany the meal is a classic Mozzarella Tomato Basil Salad.

Mozzarella Tomato Basil Salad

I don't think I know of anything that pays homage to Italy like these ingredients do on a plate. If you start from the Basil, you get Green, White, Red - the colors of the Italian flag. And nothing beats fresh ingredients that taste delicious: the fresh zing of the slight acidic tomatoes, the tart, rich balsamico and lush, fruit olive oil mixed with the creamy, soft mozzarella texture, all bound together with that fresh surprise, but flavor that we all know too well - basil! Isn't it just delicious? And easy...

So this is my Italian Eats ode to my readers :) Enjoy the food porn photos...It's easy to make and nothing beats homemade pesto. Make it in a huge batch, and you will have plenty to last. 

Pesto also goes great over Tomato & Mozzarella (when there isn't fresh basil around), fish, or even as a bit of spread on bread.

So I hope you feel a little inspired to make something simple but tasty at home... Until the next QuAC or culinary adventure...

1 comment:

onecraftymama said...

now I'm starving! The pesto looks yummy, but the tomatoes have got me DROOLING :)

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