Friday, August 7, 2009
Spinach Basil Pesto
The Lovely Megan (who is taking me to see Julie and Julia tonight, wheeeeeeeeee!) gave me a pasta maker for my birthday this year. She was going to get me a new kettle, but thought to e-mail the Man of Science first to ask if a kettle had already been purchased. It had, so he suggested a pasta maker instead. Excellent teamwork, friends!
Don't be deceived, making fresh pasta, with pasta maker or without, is an involved process. It isn't hard, it just takes a long time and renders you, your counters, and in some cases your pets, covered in flour. But worth it? Hell yeah. Fresh pasta is so much more delicious than store bought and when you do finally get around to serving it, you get to feel like a fancy chef or a no-nonsense traditional Italian lady, whichever suits you.
But this isn't about pasta! Because I just used the same recipe that I did for my homemade ravioli post a few months ago. This is really about the fresh pesto I whipped up to go with the pasta.
This is yet another recipe that I've been making for over a decade, but I just added the spinach in recently. Extra nutritional value! Same great taste! This pesto, combined with some tomatoes and my fresh pasta came together in a dinner so delicious the Man of Science and I finished the entire bowl between the two of us.
Spinach Basil Pesto
2 cups basil leaves
1 cup spinach
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
salt to taste
1 tomato, diced
Place all ingredients, except tomato and salt, in food processor or blender and combine until smooth. Add salt gradually, tasting as you go.
Toss noodles with pesto and add tomatoes.
-The basil, spinach and tomatoes all came from local farmers at the Byward Market so they were extra fresh and tasty. And cheap! Now's the time people. Get yourselves to your local markets and share the bounty.
-I am so excited about going to see the movie tonight, I can't even stand it. I loved both of the books it is based on, especially My Life in France. I loved Michael Pollan's article in the Times last Sunday about the demise of homecooking in which he talked extensively about Julia Child. I was almost in tears at one point and the Man of Science asked me what was wrong. "I just find the lessons in Julia Child's writing so profound..." I said. He didn't make fun of me too much, probably because it was my birthday. Anyway, here's an old post I wrote about what I took away from her book, just in case it will make you think I am slightly less crazy.
-Pesto freezes well. We currently have surplus from two batches (some parsley pesto the MoS made on Tuesday and mine from last night) in our freezer waiting for a night when we need a quick dinner. They probably won't stay around for too long. I might make larger batches towards the end of the summer and freeze a whole bunch more of it.