Shi’s Kitchen: Easiest Chunkiest Pesto

Pesto Fettuccine Ever since a dinner party I went to recently where C.H. made fresh pesto, I have been non-stop thinking about pesto. I soon realized that the only way I could cure myself of this was for me to make my own pesto. I don’t own a blender (yet), but discovered that a blender is only optional in the world of pesto making. As a matter of fact, the first blog I’ve ever read (with the most beautiful food photos), blogs “Pesto Like an Italian Grandmother” – chunky monkey style (she doesn’t call it that, she’s a little more graceful of a writer than I am).

Pesto Fettuccine  As I do with most recipes, I followed this one loosely. I bought the following ingredients:

  • bunch of basil (leaves only, washed and dried)
  • handful of raw pine nuts
  • 3/4 cup of parmesan
  • 3 small cloves of garlic
  • olive oil
  • some kind of pasta – I opted for fettuccine

Pesto Fettuccine  First, I washed and dried the basil.

Pesto Fettuccine
Then I took several basil leaves and sliced garlic…

Pesto Fettuccine
And chopped them all up. I continuously added more basil to the chopping mix.

Pesto Fettuccine
Halfway through the basil, I added the pine nuts, and kept chopping.

Pesto Fettuccine
Eventually, I also began to add in the parmesan. Chop chop chop. The technique is to add a little and chop a little. Then add a little more and chop a little more. As 101Cookbooks’s grandmother says, this technique brings out a larger variety of textures – great for a chunky pesto.

Pesto Fettuccine
After I was done chopping, I palmed the pesto into a “cake” and placed it in a bowl. I doused the cake with olive oil and let it sit while I waited for my pasta.

Pesto Fettuccine
Donezo! Make sure to add extra salt to the boiling water for your pasta as the recipe doesn’t add salt to the pesto in the beginning (mainly uses the parmesan for the savory). When the pasta is perfectly al dente, toss with the pesto and add more olive oil and salt to taste. I added a sunny side up egg for some extra protein.

Easy and done in 15 minutes! I loved the chunkiness of the pesto much more than the smooth kind from a blender. The pine nuts were crunchy. Basil more leafy. Overall felt like a more interesting pasta dish.

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