There are some commercial products that are excellent and that I wouldn’t hesitate using (say, puff pastry or dried spaghetti). But those little bottles of expensive pesto just don’t cut it. The real stuff tastes a million brazilion times better, and it’s really easy if you have a food processor.
The real stuff has a lot more garlic-punch than the commercial stuff so you’ll need to restrict for days where you are not meeting anybody the next day. You have been warned!
So here is the recipe:
Spaghetti with Pesto
600 grams spaghetti
2 bunch basil (40 to 50 grams)
50 grams parmesan (freshly grated)
2 tablespoons pine nuts
3 garlic cloves
125 milliliters olive oil
50 grams parmesan (for serving at the table)
Cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions. It generally will be more water and salt than you’re used to but that just tastes better. 100 grams spaghetti = 1 liter water = 10 grams salt.
put all the sauce ingredients in a food processor and whizz.
Tip: For the cost-conscious, you can substitute grana padano for the parmesan and ground almonds for the pine nuts.
Alternative: Bärlauchpesto (wild garlic pesto)
Use wild garlic instead of the basil and garlic.
Use the younger leaves – the bigger ones don’t provide a good consistency.
Wash the leaves then dry thouroughly in a salad dryer.
Since the garlicness of the wild garlic varies, you’ll have to go by taste. Add some more parmesan, some more oil, even add a garlic clove.
Both pestos freeze really, really well.