Thanksgiving was nice; we had a fun time being together with our family all day and eating foods we don’t normally eat. We over ate a bit and I got sick from eating pumpkin cheesecake every day for several days, but it’s gone now so I’m on the mend :). Now we’re getting back on track to our healthy and good-portion-sized eating….until Christmas Day :). Then we’ll feast for a day and get back on track once again. This meal is fresh and not too heavy which you might appreciate after the Thanksgiving holiday; and it’s one of my personal favorites!
Have I ever mentioned that my husband served a mission for our church in Italy about 12 years ago? Well he did and so we eat a lot of Italian foods in our house and he is an amazing Italian chef. His sauces are so yummy! And what is it with men and spices? I swear he can just throw in a bit of this and a dash of that without referring to any sort of recipe, and it tastes phenomenal.
Okay, let’s get started. Above are your ingredients. I used grated Parmesan cheese(do not use powdered) because I didn’t have a fresh block. I buy the already minced garlic from Costco which I keep in my fridge for quicker meal prep. The pine nuts I also buy from Costco because that’s the cheapest I’ve found them, but if you’ve ever bought pine nuts before you know they’re not cheap. This recipe only calls for a few tablespoons of pine nuts so the Costco bag will last you awhile. You can store them in your fridge if you think you won’t use them up for several months. Combine all of the ingredients, minus the cheese and noodles, into your food processor or blender and blend until smooth. I used a food processor; if you use a blender you’ll most likely have to stop several times and scrape down the sides, and you might get mad and start saying unkind things under your breath… just thought you should know; but it will do the job still. (You can freeze it at this point in an ice cube tray for later use if you like.)
Bring a pot of water to a boil, add your linguine noodles and boil according to package directions. If your family likes whole grain or whole wheat noodles, do those, if not try the noodles that are 50% whole wheat…remember, you want your family to eat this so if you do half and half, that’s great too. Take 4 tablespoons of the water and add at to the pesto sauce(if you forget to do this, it’s okay), then drain the rest of the water, put in a large bowl and mix with the pesto sauce. And it’s all ready! Yummy, healthy and fast! And good as leftovers. When you warm it up in the microwave the following day, the cheese will melt a little and make it even better….and/or if you put the pesto sauce on hot pasta, same thing will happen. Enjoy!
Linguine with Pesto Sauce
3/4 c fresh basil leaves
3-4 cloves garlic, peeled
3 Tbsp pine nuts
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
5 Tbsp olive oil
2/3 c freshly grated Parmesan cheese (or just grated if you don’t have it fresh but the powder will not do)
1 1/4 lb linguine
Place the basil, garlic, pine nuts, salt, pepper and olive oil in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Remove to a bowl. (If desired the sauce may be frozen at this point, before the cheeses are added). Stir in the cheese. Cook the pasta in a large pan of rapidly boiling salted water until it is al dente. Just before draining it, take about 4 Tbsp of the cooking water and stir it into the sauce. But if you forget, that’s okay because I forget to do this step a lot and it still tastes great. Drain the pasta and toss with the sauce. Serve immediately.
You can freeze any spare pesto sauce in an ice cube tray