Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Spaghetti with pesto & zucchini



I love a good pasta. It doesn’t matter whether it’s summer or winter, I can be easily convinced to whip up a pasta dish for dinner … and even more easily convinced to dig in when my husband cooks! This summer I’ve found a recipe that has quickly become my favourite go-to dish on those occasions I’d much rather spend the cool of the evening outside enjoying the twilight and the cool breeze than inside cooking.

Spaghetti with pesto & zucchini
Serves 2

2 medium zucchinis
½ cup of pesto (see recipe below)
enough spaghetti for 2 (170 grams feeds my husband and myself)
olive oil

Cook your pasta according to instructions. Slice zucchini into ribbons lengthways, I use our mandolin to achieve thin, consistent results. Heat oil in a fry pan and cook your zucchini so it is slightly soft but retains a bit of crunch and texture, usually about 4 minutes, then add your spaghetti and pesto. Toss for a few more minutes until the pesto covers everything in the pan and serve up.

Home-made pesto
I found this wonderful pesto recipe and used it for the first time when cooking the zucchini pasta and I couldn’t be more happy with the results. It has a full flavour, but doesn’t overpower the soft, buttery taste of cooked zucchini. In fact, they’re prefect partners! I make a batch and freeze half to use next time, which cuts down on prep time.

Recipe via: http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/001570.html

How to Make Pesto like an Italian Grandmother

One key to perfect pesto is chopping all the ingredients by hand, preferably with a sharp mezzaluna or knife. I gave my double-bladed mezzaluna to a friend last year because it was collecting dust (I also didn't like how ingredients would get stuck between the blades), but have a large half-moon shaped pizza cutter that works like a dream. Francesca's mom even approved and said it cut her chopping time in half. This pesto will keep a bit in the refrigerator, but it really hits its peak when served soon after it is made.

The technique here is: chop a bit, add some ingredients, chop some more. I think part of the reason she does it this way (instead of chopping everything all at once) is because some things get chopped into oblivion, while some not as much - it encourages specturm of cut sizes throughout the pesto contributing to the overall texture. All told, the chopping took me a leisurely twenty to thirty minutes, I wasn't in any particular rush.

You'll notice this recipe doesn't have any added salt (just the saltiness from the cheese), make sure your pasta water is well salted if you are going to use this pesto on pasta or the overall flavor profile will fall flat. Also, be sure to adjust for seasoning before serving. With food this simple, you need to get the seasoning right.

1 large bunch of basil, leaves only, washed and dried
3 medium cloves of garlic
one small handful of raw pine nuts
roughly 3/4 cup Parmesan, loosely packed and FRESHLY GRATED
A few tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil

Special equipment: large mezzaluna for chopping

Start chopping the garlic along with about 1/3 of the basil leaves. Once this is loosely chopped add more basil, chop some more, add the rest of the basil, chop some more. I scrape and chop, gather and chop. At this point the basil and garlic should be a very fine mince. Add about half the pine nuts, chop. Add the rest of the pine nuts, chop. Add half of the Parmesan, chop. Add the rest of the Parmesan, and chop. In the end you want a chop so fine that you can press all the ingredients into a basil "cake" - see the photo up above. Transfer the pesto "cake" to a small bowl (not much bigger than the cake). Cover with a bit of olive oil, it doesn't take much, just a few tablespoons.

You can set this aside or place it in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it. Just before serving give the pesto a quick stir to incorporate some of the oil into the basil. She occasionally thins the pesto with a splash of pasta water for more coverage, but for our gnocchi this wasn't necessary.

Makes about 1 cup.
Image: www.101cookbooks.com

21 comments:

  1. Hire professional assignment helper to solve your academic task and help you to get HD in academics.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Replies
    1. It looks pretty creepy but as your regular reader of your blogs I can at least appreciate you for sharing this type of the recipe I am well aware of this some of my olders do like it.

      Delete
  3. Gotoassignmenthelp Service endeavors to satisfy the advanced education guidelines of the college/ university through the best quality assignments when you require Assignment Help Oman

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi, I am Keith CREW from Australia. I am working as a full-time academic consultant with valueassignmenthelp.
    we providing Online Assignment Help in Australia to university or students. I served the stressed students
    residing in Australia for more than 5 years and hold excellent writing skills and provides
    guidance to academic scholars and students. For More Info: Assignment Help

    ReplyDelete
  5. Assignment help in Saudi Arabia allows students to finish their papers on time without having any mistakes. If you want to submit error-free papers in your universities, you must think about Online Assignment help in Saudi Arabia.

    ReplyDelete
  6. You are sharing delightful post. It is effortless and easy to understand for me. Thanks for sharing the post. Moreover, our team provide best assignment help service in Australia for all universities.

    ReplyDelete
  7. My Assignment Help online provide assignment help to all students residing in Australia, so that they can live free from all academic worries and enjoy all other thing in their life. We have pool of most professional writers to provide you best for your work.

    ReplyDelete
  8. alexa smith is a guest lecturer for a distinguished university in Australia. alexa has received her PhD degree in Ancient History from Curtin University. She has taken part in many academic seminars and conventions. She is also associated with the
    essay assignment help service provided by MyAssignmenthelp.com.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Orlando Slip and Fall Lawyers | Slip and Fall Accident Attorney: Slip and fall injuries can be painful and devastating. If you’re looking for a slip and fall lawyer, call Dunmire Law for a free consultation.

    Source: Slip And fall Lawyers

    ReplyDelete
  10. I’m really happy to find this site and did enjoy reading useful blog posted here. The ideas of the author was awesome, thanks for the share.
    Bread makes you fat
    protein foods
    Banana Diet
    Food near me open now
    healthy slice of life

    ReplyDelete
  11. I’m really happy to find this site and did enjoy reading useful blog posted here. The ideas of the author was awesome, thanks for the share.
    Bread makes you fat
    protein foods
    Banana Diet
    Food near me open now
    healthy slice of life

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thanks for sharing this recipe. Being a pasta lover, I will definitely try this recipe out. It’s funny how I ended up here, while I opened my browser to search for good copy writing service in Atlanta. Google suggestions can distract you sometimes, but who cares when the distraction is so delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Writing a research paper is one of the most daunting tasks which is assigned to student. So if you want Research Paper Help than you can check it from here.

    ReplyDelete
  14. We are a top rated assignment help in australia Online service here with experts specializing in a wide range of disciplines ensuring you get the assignments that score maximum grades.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Nice recipe of spaghetti, thanks a lot. It might be delicious! Let me add a link of cv writing service CVuniverse that will come in handy for all jobless to be selected.

    ReplyDelete
  16. We are providing essay help . You can reach out us now! we are providing this help since the past 10 years.

    ReplyDelete