Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Spaghetti with Basil Pesto, Cherry Tomatoes, & Ricotta

Spaghetti with Basil Pesto, Cherry Tomatoes, & Ricotta

Serves 4

PESTO   (this is my all time favorite Pesto recipe!!!!)

3 Tblsp.          Pine Nuts
2 packed c.     Basil Leaves
Salt                  to taste
1 clove            Garlic (finely chopped)
1/3 c.              Olive Oil
1/3 c.              Parmesan Cheese (grated)

1.         Set oven to 350 degrees F. Have a small baking dish and a large pasta serving bowl on hand.

2.         Spread pine nuts in baking dish and toast for 7-8 min., turning often until pale golden brown.

3.         Bring soup pot of water to boil. (You will also cook the pasta in it afterwards, so save the water)  Put some ice water in the sink and have a slotted spoon on hand.

4.         Put the cleaned basil leaves into the boiling water, pushing them down to submerge them and leave only for 3-4 seconds.  Quickly transfer them to the ice water.  Squeeze out the excess water from the basil leaves.  Leave the water on low heat to cook your pasta in.  Salt the water for the pasta.

5.         In a blender or food processor, pulse the nuts until they are finely ground.
            Add the basil, garlic, oil, parmesan, and a pinch of salt.  Blend until the mixture is coarsely pureed, stopping the motor often to push the mixture down around the blade.  Taste for seasonings and add more salt if you like.  Scrape the pesto into the serving bowl.

***** 1/2 of this recipe made enough for one meal for David and I - put the other half of the Pesto into a small container and freeze for your next meal.  
            So I always have a hard time knowing how much pasta will feed the 2 of us.  Now I know that 1/2 lb. of dried spaghetti will do 1 meal for 2 adults.


1 lb.     Spaghetti
1 pint  cherry tomatoes, halved
            Salt & Pepper (to taste)
1 c.      whole milk ricotta  ( I used Feta)

1.         Return the pot of water to a boil and put in Spaghetti.  Stir to separate the stands. Cook 8 min. stirring once or twice.  The pasta will continue cooking a little after it is drained.  Remove ½ c. of the cooking water.

2.         In a colander, drain the spaghetti.
3.         Stir 1 to 2 Tblsp. of the pasta water into the pesto to loosen it to the consistency of heavy cream.  Add the pasta and toss to coat.  Add half the tomatoes, salt and pepper, and toss again.  Taste for seasonings and add more salt if you like.  Distribute the remaining tomatoes and the ricotta on top.

4.         I poured a small amount of whipping cream into my spaghetti and that make it more like a creamy pesto sauce.  Try it both ways!     

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