Classic Pesto Pasta
This recipe is restaurant quality. The reviews are always awesome, and the best part is that I make a large batch of the pesto sauce and keep it in the freezer for whenever it’s needed.
1 pound penne pasta (you can use brown rice gluten free pasta if you want)
3 cups of basil, washed and dried
1 cup of pine nuts
1 cup of shredded parmesan
2 cloves of garlic (or 2 cubes frozen garlic)
1 ¼ teaspoon + 1 tablespoon of salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup of pasta water (this will be water that you reserve when you cook the pasta)
Take your basil and pine nuts and place them in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Turn the machine on for 30 seconds then shut it off and add the cheese, garlic, 1 ¼ teaspoon of salt and pepper. Run the machine again for another 30 seconds. With the machine running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until it is all incorporated.
Fill a large pot ¾ of the way with cold water. Cover the pot and put on a medium-high flame. When the water boils, add 1 tablespoon of salt and your pasta to the pot. Cook your pasta al dente for 8-9 minutes. (Gluten free may require more time) Ladle ½ cup of pasta water to the side to use later when tossing the pasta with the pesto. When the pasta is ready, drain into a colander. Do not rinse the pasta, just put it right into your serving bowl.
Take your pasta water and about 1 cup of the prepared pesto sauce and toss with your pasta. You can add a little extra pesto if you need.
Take any leftover pesto and put it into a container with plastic wrap pushed directly on to the surface of the pesto. Then seal the container tightly with its lid. The pesto stays in the freezer for up to 2 months.
The pesto sauce can be made and frozen up to 2 months in advance. Defrost it in the fridge the day before you plan to use it. The pasta should be made and tossed prior to serving.