Thursday, July 24, 2014

walnut pesto pasta

i came home last night to find my mom, my brother, and a huge mess in the kitchen. it was my brother's turn to cook dinner, so he decided to make pesto pasta. even though ben was supposedly making dinner, when i came home it seemed like my mom was really doing all the work. i'm sure she was just doing the grunt work while ben played master chef, but who could know for sure?

my brother started out using the epicurious classic pesto recipe, but as the cooking progressed we changed it up a little bit. we ended up adding walnuts when an early batch tasted waaaay too salty.

i've been experimenting with a wheat-free diet this summer, so i had this pasta while the rest of my family had traditional penne pasta. this brand was good - i wouldn't have known it was gluten-free if i hadn't looked at the label.

this sauce was a little bit of a mess, but it turned out great. it was initially super salty because my brother accidentally added twice as much salt as necessary, so we counteracted by adding more nuts, which made the sauce thicker and creamier. also, the cheese selection is all over the place. per usual, we added whatever leftover cheese had in the fridge. every night is an adventure here!

despite all of this, the sauce turned out super creamy (despite the absence of actual cream) and really flavorful. i liked the fusilli pasta a lot because all of the ridges caught up the sauce. kudos for the idea, ben, and thanks for helping him out, ma. coming home from work when dinner is basically ready is the best.

josie is the least helpful cook in our family. she's so fuzzy, right? she got shaved today so she looks about half the size now. she didn't get to eat any of the pasta, unfortunately.


enough sauce for 8 servings of pasta

4 cups loosely packed basil leaves
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup pine nuts
1 cup walnuts
4 cloves of garlic
1/3 cup grated irish cheddar
1/3 cup grated parrano cheese
1/3 cup grated jarlsberg cheese
salt to taste

penne or fusilli pasta

put water on the stove to boil for the pasta.

in a food processor, combine the basil, olive oil, pine nuts, walnuts, and garlics. blend until a paste forms.

next, add the cheese and blend until smooth. depending on the saltiness of your cheese selection, you may not need to add more salt. taste test and add more salt if needed.

once the water is boiling, add your pasta. when the pasta is done, drain into the colander. add 2-3 cups of the pasta water to the food processor. blend until smooth. add more or less water depending on the consistency you'd like your sauce to be. the excess gluten in the pasta water keeps the sauce smooth while the water thins it out.

pour the sauce on top of the pasta. toss together and serve into bowls.

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