27 August 2011

Such a pest(o)

This summer, I've been really into pasta. Don't really know why or anything, but I am. It may be because most pasta applications are relatively easy, and no one really wants to cook anything super hardcore in the summer because it's hot and you're tired and want to be outside. Pesto trapanese is no exception to this general rule, but its deliciousness fools you into thinking you've really accomplished something by making it.

So, it's pesto, but it's not what you think of when you think pesto because it has tomatoes.

Pesto Trapanese

1/2 cup almonds, toasted in a pan with some olive oil. Take them out as soon as they start turning a teensy bit brown, because it's a very short trip from there to burnt.
4 Roma tomatoes (the egg-shaped ones), cut into quarters and de-seeded
12-15 basil leaves
1 garlic clove, peeled and halved
1 cup of grated parmigiano reggiano
1/4 to 1/2 cup of olive oil - you'll know your preference

1/2 box of linguine (I use dry Barilla pasta - it seems to work well more often than not) for 2 people eating what could be their only meal of the day - if you're having a starter or a dessert, you're not going to want that much.

Now, what you're going to do is pretty much just drop all the ingredients for the pesto into a food processor, and using the "pulse" function, chop it up till it reaches your desired consistency. I've tried chopping the almonds before I do everything else, but I honestly couldn't notice a difference, except that I thought that I preferred chopping everything up together. Oh, and start by putting in a 1/4 cup of olive oil, then check the consistency halfway through the chopping exercise. If you feel like it's too solid, not liquid-y enough, pour in another 1/4 cup of the oil. Use good oil if you have it - you can tell when you do (tried it with not-so-good, and it kind of disappointed). Stop chopping once you feel good about it.

Boil 4-5 cups of water, and salt it liberally. As in, it should taste like the ocean. Drop your linguine in and cook for 6 or 7 minutes. Drain, but reserve a bit of the pasta water. Stir the pesto into the linguine in the pot that the linguine was cooking in. If it looks perhaps a little too solid, stir in some of the cooking water, adding a little bit at a time so you know exactly when it looks right.

I've attached a blackberry photo of this to this post - quality's not that good, but at least you'll get an idea of what it should look like.