My friend Magali writes that with chilly winter temperatures in Geneva so she has been enjoying a lot of pasta these days. Yes, don’t we all do that? Cold day, forget a salad, let’s go for something a little more heartwarming and satisfying, right? So from Geneva with love: Pesto Genovese Pasta.
Traditionally, it’s prepared with a marble mortar with a wooden pestle. I have one and rarely use it. Magali swears that she doesn’t mind the extra work of doing it all by hand because it gives a different texture and a better flavor. I can buy that. But, traditions aside, the simplest way to make this sauce when you don’t have either a mortar nor the time is to use a blender or a food processor (keep in mind, the ingredients should not be heated in the blender, so just pulse for a few seconds, and then add the next ingredients).
Makes sauce for 400 g of pasta
2 cloves of garlic
pinch of sea salt
1 cup fresh basil (Genovese basil or buy fresh at the market, not too strong) (50 g)
1 tablespoon pine nuts (5 g)
7 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (100 ml)
2 tablespoons Pecorino cheese or Grana padano cheese (30 g)
1/3 cup parmigiano reggiano cheese (80 g)
1. Finely crush the garlic and salt, add the basil leaves one hand at the time, add the pine nuts and then the cheese.
2. Add some of the extra virgin olive oil and keep pounding and/or mixing until you obtain a fine and smooth creamy sauce. Do not cook pesto!
3. Trofie and trenette are the pasta used in Liguria but linguine or spaghetti al dente also go very well with this sauce.