Wednesday, March 13, 2019

On the MENU This Week. Basil and Ricotta Cheese Pesto Pasta

We are growing herbs in pots this year and watering by hand. Some have been really successful like our basil and thyme, while others have turned up their toes and died, like the oregano which was planted with the thyme. Because the basil was starting to go to seed, Lynne decided to make a pesto this week and this is how the recipe evolved. It was influenced by watching Jamie in Italy, where he has been doing some interesting vegetarian pastas that Nonnas (Italian grandmothers) have made at home for years. We used a favourite shape called Fusillata which holds sauce well, but any pasta you like can be used with Pesto, it does stick. You can also change the nuts if you like
1 cup of fresh Italian Basil - 2 peeled garlic cloves - 20g walnuts - ½ teaspoon of salt - 1 Tablespoon grated Pecorino cheese
1 Tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese - 4 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 100g Ricotta cheese, drained
Freshly ground black pepper - Pasta of your choice for 4 - 50g baby peas -  Parmesan to add at the end
In a blender, combine the basil, garlic, walnuts, salt, both hard cheeses and one tablespoon of olive oil. Blend, adding more olive oil slowly to make a finer paste. Then add the Ricotta. Taste and add more salt if necessary and season with black pepper. Cook the pasta in well salted water until al dente. Briefly cook the  the baby peas; they only need a minute. Drain the pasta and stir in the Pesto. Add the peas into the pasta at the last moment. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and another good grating of Parmesan. Serve with a tomato salad and a good Sauvignon Blanc

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