Authentic Italian Recipe
Ligurian Pesto with Spaghetti
4 to 6 Servings
This recipe makes more pesto than you'll need. Serve the extra with vegetables or fish, or spread it on sandwiches. This is part of BA's Best, a collection of our essential recipes.
- Kosher salt
- 10 cups (loosely packed) fresh basil leaves (about 2 bunches)
- 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan plus more
- 1 1/2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup mild extra-virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
- 1 pound spaghetti
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Set a colander in a large bowl of ice water (this will make it easier to strain the basil later). Working in batches, blanch basil for 10 seconds. Using a large slotted spoon, transfer basil to colander in ice water; let cool completely. Set aside 1/2 cup blanching water. Reserve pot with blanching water.
- Drain basil by lifting colander from ice water. Using your hands, squeeze excess water from basil; transfer basil to paper towels. (You should have about 1/2 cup.)
- Place blanched basil, 1/2 cup Parmesan, pine nuts, and garlic in a food processor. Pulse until well combined, adding blanching water by tablespoonfuls to thin if needed, and stopping occasionally to scrape down sides. Process until a smooth, thick purée forms, about 1 minute.
- Transfer basil mixture to a medium bowl. Stir in 1/2 cup oil. Season to taste with salt.
- Return water in pot to a boil; add more salt. Cook spaghetti, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Spoon 1/2 cup pesto and 1/4 cup pasta cooking liquid into a large bowl. Using tongs, transfer spaghetti to bowl and toss vigorously, drizzling with oil and adding more pesto and cheese as you continue to toss, until spaghetti is glossy and well coated with sauce. Season with salt. Divide among bowls; sprinkle with cheese.
Recipe by Gianni Franzi in Vernazza Italy, Photos by Marcus Nilsson
YOUR DREAM AWAITS!
A wonderful dish that can be found only in Italy! Always wanting to go to Italy and experience the Amalfi Coast or Pompei? Come with the Western DuPage Chamber of Commerce on a trip of a lifetime! Visit WWW.WDCCTRAVEL.COM
or click on the "Italy Trip
" tab through our website and see how an incredible adventure awaits! Our chamber will be visiting: Naples Sorrento Pompeii Capri Amalfi Positano Ravello
Rich in culture and stunning scenery, irresistible Southern Italy is the setting for this breathtaking journey. Enjoy an eight-day journey back to the old country where you will explore not one, but many Italies. As one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, find yourself relaxing in the town of Sorrento or sight-seeing along the Amalfi Coast, which includes gorgeous places such as Positano, Ravello and Amalfi. On this remarkable trip you will also encounter the world famous archeological site of Pompeii. The beautiful Amalfi Coast awaits you with its great food, historical sites and beautiful architecture, providing an unforgettable Italian experience. Click here for more information!