I can never forget having pesto pasta the first time at an Italian bistro, the flavors just hit me and the taste was so good. I could never guess the ingredients until I asked my husband. Then I did some research and found out that small variations in the sauce can ruin the flavors.
There are different ways of making this pesto sauce. Some prepare it with walnuts, almonds and combination of pine nuts and walnuts. There are variations in using the cheese too. I prepared the sauce with only pine nuts and felt the authentic taste. I really liked the way it turned out. Took this to my office for lunch and my colleagues could not resist asking for some 🙂
Pasta- ½ pound (Any type)
Button mushroom– 2 oz (or small can)
Extra virgin olive oil– 2 tsp
Ingredients to make Pesto sauce:
Basil leaves- 2 cups packed leaves
Pine nuts– ¼ cup
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese – ½ cup (grated)
Extra virgin olive oil- 2/3 cup
Salt and pepper – for seasoning
To make pesto sauce:
Blend basil leaves and pine nuts coarsely in a food processor or blender. Add in olive oil slowly until it mixes well. Pour the sauce in a container and add the cheese and mix well. Add salt and pepper as per your need.
The pesto sauce can be stored as prepared for up to a week in the refrigerator. If you are planning to store the sauce for a longer time, store it without adding cheese. Apparently, if you top the sauce with olive oil and store it in the freezer, the sauce will be good up to three months.
To make the pasta:
Cook the pasta as per the instructions given on the pack. Add mushrooms 5 minutes before the pasta is cooked. Drain and run cold water on the pasta to prevent it from sticking.
Heat 2 tsp of olive oil in a pan, add the pasta and mushrooms and stir well for few minutes. Add 2-3 tbsp of pesto sauce and mix well.
Do not heat the pasta too long after adding the sauce. Mix well and serve immediately!