Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Spaghetti with almond and basil pesto


My first time making pesto. Pine nuts are usually the traditional nutty ingredient for making pesto but this recipe uses almond instead. I read that pesto is best made using a mortar and pestle to grind the ingredients to bring out the sharp flavour of the ingredients especially basil but people like me, to save my tiring arms will always look for a food processor to do the job. Just like bread making, i think i have not really kneaded a bread for more than 3 times after getting my mixer.   I also read that if we were to use a food processor to make pesto, make sure we keep an eye during the processing to avoid the pesto turns into puree so it's better to use the pulse mode in the machine. The amount of oil we put in will also vary depending on the dryness of the nut so we make the adjustment ourselves.

Recipe ( from Pasta by Carla Bardi with some changes)
200gm spaghetti
60gms almond, finely chopped
1 small clove garlic
a little salt
2 cups of fresh basil
1 medium ripe tomato, peeled, seeds removed and chopped
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
some roasted chopped almonds


Method:
1. Chop the almonds, garlic and a pinch of salt in a food processor until almost smooth.
2. Add the basil, tomato and chop until smooth. Seasom with salt and oil. Place in a large serving dish.
3.Cook the pasta in salted boiling water till al dente.
4.Drain well and place in the serving dish with pesto, you can add a 1-2 tbsp of cooking water if the sauce is too dry. Toss gently, sprinkle with some roasted almonds and serve hot.

31 comments:

  1. My girl will love this very much.. in fact she just took spaghetti yesterday for brunch.. the Hor Lok coffeeshop, there is one man who cooks to her liking.. cheap also.. RM4.50 only!

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  2. When I ate at Italian restaurants, and ordered any pasta that comes with pesto, I couldn't distinguish the pesto in it.
    One day when I got my pound of pine nuts, I remembered Swee San of The Sweet Spot did pesto before and she was surprised I never ate it before. It's not that I never ate before, I never remembered I ate before, LOL. It was that mild in restaurants. They stinge on the pesto until I don't even realise the difference with pesto dressed ones and non pesto dressed pasta.
    But when I made it myself, Only then I know how good pesto can be.

    Try it next time with pine nuts, the aroma will be different.

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  3. I love this kind of pesto, looks yumm!

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  4. Hey Lena,
    Thanks for your comment on my blog. I don't know why my followers have disappeared; but you're right..it's happening to a fair few people here on blogger!

    As for your pasta dish, I love the idea of almonds in the pesto! What a great dinnertime meal

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  5. Almond into pesto sauce... now u gave me some ideas to make my pizza sauce lia, thx pal!

    p/s: Your spaghetti tempting me to cook it tonight, lol!

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  6. Love pasta too. Quickly courier some over, please its lunch time now.

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  7. I love basil pesto and had made once with pine nuts. I'm also a lazy person and just put everything in the food processor ;D

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  8. You make me drool just looking at your pasta with pesto. Pine nuts will give it a much stronger flavor. Wa..it is time I make some ourselves :) Yours looks great....send some over next time you make this :) Claire and I will finish it all for you :)

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  9. I have never made pesto at home, look like time for me to make it soon. Thanks for your inspiration.

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  10. I am a fan of homemade pesto ;-)) The spaghetti looks simply delicious.

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  11. Traditionally people used pine nuts in their pesto but you can actually use any type of toasted nuts as pine nuts are very expensive. I always keep a jar of homemade pesto in my fridge as you can use it in pasta, toast or for sandwiches.

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  12. Love how light the pasta looks. Im sure it's perfect with seared or roasted meats :) thanks for sharing.

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  13. I love the idea of this recipe, it really sound delicious. Diane

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  14. Lena, this pasta dish looks delicious, so simple and yet to tasty with pesto and almonds. Beautifully done and great picture.
    Hope you are having a great week :-)

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  15. That's exactly why i am a fan of pesto! so simple but the flavours just burst in your mouth! What a lovely plate of spag-i can slurp it all up.

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  16. i had a lot of these when i was in the states because my room mate wanted to impress everyone in the house and started whipping up this dish....but yours looks much more delicious than his for sure :P

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  17. Your pasta looks delicious! Pine nuts are so expensive that the shop that I frequent to does not stock that anymore! Basil from your plant? :)

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  18. this makes a simple and delicious meal! i've only ever made pesto with coriander as fresh basil leaves are difficult to get here in my town.

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  19. Hi Lena, this one I not be knowing, ha ha....never tried it, never heard of it too....
    I guess it's my not going overboard for spaghetti...partly because cheese not on my list of foods to eat.
    My wife loves them....

    Yours looks real nice....you sure have a lot of food dishes to make variety the spice of life in your home.
    Have fun, best regards.
    Lee.

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  20. Your pasta reminds me how long I've not made pesto and tasted it too. ;P Fresh made pesto beats any store bought jar ones. I've not tried using almond before...must be on the sweeter side in flavor? Thanks for sharing this...a quick and flavorful meal indeed. ;)

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  21. beautiful picture and amazing dish., I love pasta especially with pesto. So light and flavorful yet simple and fresh. Pesto is one of very few sauces you can say that about

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  22. Lena I love these spaguettis look amazing!! gloria

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  23. So simple, but delicious! I love the idea of using almond instead of pinenuts in pesto :)

    Sues

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  24. Love it simple and delicious. I love the basil flavour. I would love to add a lot of prawns to it :D

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  25. I keep a jar of home made pesto in my fridge all the time. It is very versatile, can compliment lots of dishes. Like Wendy, I use pine nuts:D I must trying using almond powder for my next batch of pesto.

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  26. Hi! I loved your blog, you have incredible recipes here, I will be visiting you as often as I can, this pesto with almonds is just great, you can try it with pecan nuts too, you'll love it. Big hugs from Chile

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  27. I'm thinking of making my own pesto too but never got a chance to make it. I must admit that homemade pesto is always enriched with the best selected ingredients.

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  28. Mmm.....delicious *slurps* Pasta is my fav :) So did everyone enjoy this meal? Hey, don't forget to drink lots of water. Heard the air quality over there is pretty bad? Hope it has cleared a bit.

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  29. hi everyone, yeah, i think next time i shall try that with pine nuts!

    barb: thanks! The haze was really bad for the past 2 days but today, it's better.

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  30. Lena, pine nuts is something hard to find here. I don't even find them in KL supermarkets. So, I used halzenut or almond. So far, I think I prefer hazelnut. It has stronger flavour. Maybe next time I try to find them at S'pore chinese medical hall. They've all kinds of nuts, flowers & seeds available there. Pesto pasta is my favourite and my girl also love it a lot.
    Good night,
    Kristy

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