Pesto is definitely one of the easiest and most delicious things to make in the summer and I definitely take advantage of that when I can. As I was walking through the farmers market the other day, I saw huge bunches of fresh green basil and knew right away that pesto was going to be on my menu in the near future.
I wanted to keep the dish simple, so I thought I’d pair it with some noodles, but I wanted to be careful about which noodles I chose. I had a disaster about a week ago with some rice noodles that I bought from Trader Joe’s that completely ruined this beautiful cold noodle salad that I prepared. I chopped up all of my vegetables and herbs and made this yummy dressing, but made the fatal mistake of not trying to noodles before I mixed everything in, and once I did, I regretted it. The noodles tasted and had the consistency of wallpaper paste and the more you chewed them the more they seemed to coagulate in my mouth. I couldn’t even get the bite down my throat before spitting it out and I was sorely disappointed.
I didn’t want to make the same mistake again, so after trying out the new Brooklyn Bridge Park skating rink, I Yelped a place nearby that sold fresh pasta and to my delight I found Caputo’s Fine Foods in Cobble Hill located at 460 Court Street.
They have a wide assortment of fine Italian foods and freezers full of various types of fresh pasta at really great prices. I ended up getting fresh homemade Penne Rigate and because I had walked quite a bit to get there, I figured I might as well make it worth the trip, and also got mini cheese raviolis.
The recipe that I used for the pesto is a variation of this that I found on epicurious. I used less garlic and pine nuts, but that is just my preference and it was really quick to make:
- 3 large garlic cloves (I used 2 cloves)
- 1/2 cup pine nuts (I used about a 1/4 cup)
- 2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano, coarsely grated (2/3 cup)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 cups loosely packed fresh basil
- 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- With food processor running, drop in garlic and finely chop.
- Stop motor and add nuts, cheese, salt, pepper, and basil, then process until finely chopped.
- With motor running, add oil, blending until incorporated.