Angel Hair Pasta with Homemade Pesto

October 19, 2008 at 11:42 pm | Posted in pasta, Seasonings & Sauces | Leave a comment

I am a little bit behind in posting this, so I apologize.  This is one of the dishes that I made for my dinner party that I had recently (you know – the one where I wore my wedding dress?  Come on, that has now become legendary…ha!).  This is another recipe from my friend Andrea’s cooking class.  I don’t have the exact source, so I apologize for that, but she made this at her Tuscan class and I knew that I HAD to make it.  I love pesto and I had never made it homemade before so I figured now was a great time to try it out.  I wanted to try it before I served it to my guests so I spread some on a Triscuit cracker.  It didn’t disappoint even on a cracker!!! PS – this was my first time buying “expensive” cheese.  Who knew Parmesian -Reggiano  cost so much?!?  HA HA!

Recipe from Andrea:


1 clove garlic, peeled
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano (about 1/2 cup), finely grated
1/2 teaspoon each kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 (packed) cups fresh basil (I used a little less than this as I ran out…still really good though!)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

4 to 6 quarts water
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 pound angel hair
Salt and pepper to taste
2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano, for garnish


1.  For the Pesto:  Combine the gralis, pine nuts, cheese, salt and pepper in the work bowl of a food processor; pulse to make a paste.  Add the basil, and pulse to combine.  With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil through the feed tube until it forms a smooth paste.
2.  Spoon the pesto into a storage container; press a piece of plastic wrap onto the surface of the pesto, then cover the container with a lid.  Place in refrigerator until needed.  Just before serving, stir to recombine and taste. (I made this the night before the dinner party to save on time and it was still fantastic)
3.  For the Pasta:  Place 4 – 6 quarts of water in an 8-quart stock pot.  Place over high heat and bring to a boil.  When the water begins to boil, add the kosher salt and bring back to the boil.  Add the pasta and immediately stir to separate the individual pieces.  The water should return to a boil very quickly. 
4.  Cook just until al dente.  Toss the pasta with the pesto, adding 1 tablespoon of pasta water at a time as needed to moisten. (You may not need to add pasta water at all).
5.  Distribute the pasta between four dishes.  Garnish with Parmigiano-Reggiano and serve immediately.

Mrs. Pig Rating:  YUUUUM!  This was so good – if you like pesto.  I really love it so I enjoyed this.  This recipe makes a lot though – probably enough for 6-8 people.  I had a ton leftover, but I will definitely make this one again!


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