Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Late summer pesto

It was greener than it looks, in a couple of ways. The pasta was once again from Ohio City Pasta--this time a thin vegan spaghetti flavored with a couple of things, most notably chives. It came from my monthly food buying group bounty (we're starting a new season if anyone's interested), which also included pine nuts (And local honey, amongst other things. It was a good month).

The timing for the pine nuts was great as basil isn't going to grow around here much longer. The goat cheese brought it all together.

- Make as usual (reserve some of the starchy water)

- Basil
- Oil (I used Zoe Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Spain. It may be sacrilege, but I love Spanish olive oil.)
- Pine nuts (I toasted them very lightly. More like just heated them up.)
- Cheese, grated (I used Parmesan, there are other options.)
- Salt
- [No Garlic. I love garlic, but with the oil and nuts as it is, there was no need to further risk gastrointestinal distress with raw garlic. Plus, a very respectable Italian cookbook didn't call for it.]
- Add basil to work bowl of food processor with some oil, salt, and pine nuts
- Process until you like the consistency
- Add cheese and process some more to combine

Putting it together
- For a good one bowl preparation add drained pasta back to the bowl it was cooked in (off the heat)
- Add pesto a bit at a time until you get a coating that you like
- If the pesto is not quickly melting to blend with the pasta, add some of the reserved water to loosen the pesto up and stir some more
- Plate and add crumbled goat cheese on top (I got the cheese here.)

The omission of garlic worked well for a few reasons. I think it makes the meal easier to digest, takes care of some serious breath issues, and allows for a smoother (on the palate, the texture was not really too different) sauce, especially with the addition of goat cheese. Part of the reason the garlic was not missed may have been because the pasta had chives in it--I'm not sure, but I won't be adding garlic to my pesto for a while.

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