Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Gnocchi or pasta with pesto sauce

 Yesterday I trimmed my basil plant and tonight I'm making the recipe below.  You can easily use penne pasta or any macaroni type pasta.  It's so easy and soooooo yummy!  Happy Friday! I added a few cherry tomatoes for some color and taste.  You can make pesto so easily so try it.  A food processor or even a blender will work.  Happy easy summer meals. :) M.j.

Basil Pesto
When I started to write this post my thoughts immediately went back to years ago.  I wouldn't have thought that putting fresh basil, pine nuts, olive oil, garlic and cheese in a blender was making pesto.

My mom never made what we now call pesto so when I started playing around with herbs and garlic I came to realize it was the pesto I had heard around the Italian circles of foodie friends I have met.. 

I've come a long way(I now own a food processor) and I should mention my hubby has come a very long way too!!  He would have never ever tried anything on his pasta that looked GREEN. When we were first married he used to pick out the fresh basil that I had cooked in my red sauce. That would make me sooooooooo angry.

 I do remember when I was younger having the below pestle which was marble.  Mom used it to crush garlic.  She eventually became attached to a garlic press to mince her garlic and I do as well.  Love my garlic press <3>

Hubby and I were both brought up with pasta and red sauce imprinted on our brain; garlic, basil and olive oil were staples in the kitchen but putting them together to make a paste like sauce I don't think would have been something either my mom or mother-in-law would have ever done. Sauce was red! not green.  Basil was added to our sauce fresh or dried .  The idea of adding pine or walnuts to it also seemed unusual.

Gnocchi in pesto sauce with cherry tomatoes.

According to Wikipedia,   Pesto (Italian pronunciation: [ˈpesto], Genoese[ˈpestu]) is a sauce originating in Genoa in the Liguria region of northern Italy (pesto genovese),[1] and traditionally consists of crushed garlic, basil, and European pine nuts blended with olive oil, Parmigiano Reggiano (Parmesan cheese), and Fiore Sardo (cheese made from sheep's milk).[2] The name is the contracted past participle of the Genoese word pestâ (Italian: pestare), which means to pound, to crush, in reference to the original method of preparation, with marble mortar and wooden pestle. The ingredients in a traditionally made pesto are ground with a circular motion of the pestle in the mortar. This same Latin root through Old French also gave rise to the English word pestle.[

Here is the recipe for Gnocchi with Basil pesto:

l lb. vacuum packed or frozen gnocchi prepared according to directions.

Pesto sauce for above gnocchi (or any type pasta that you would like)

2 cups basil leaves, packed
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup pine nuts
2 cloves garlic
3/4 cup Pecorino Romano cheese grated
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp pepper

In a food processor place basil leaves, olive oil , pine nuts, garlic salt and pepper. Process until mixed but not fine.  A little chunky. Add cheese and pulse to mix.

Cook gnocchi or pasta according to directions.  Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup of liquid.  Place gnocchi,  pesto and reserved water and toss together. Add a few sliced cherry tomatoes for extra color.  Serve warm.

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