Sunday, February 14, 2010

Cookbook challenge, week 13: Pasta with unpestoed pesto

With Valentine's Day this week, it was only fitting that the theme was love! I chose a recipe from Nigella Lawson's How to Eat that used fresh basil. This recipe suited the theme in 3 ways: my partner J loves pasta, the basil from my garden was grown with love, and I used some heart-shaped pasta that I found in a shop in Germany last year!


Like many of Nigella's recipes in this book, the recipe is given in a story-telling style, rather than numbered steps. I've included the recipe in a shorter style below.

Pasta (linguine recommended)
Olive oil
Several whole, peeled garlic cloves
A mound of fresh basil leaves
A handful of pine nuts
Grated Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta.
While pasta is cooking, toast some pine nuts in a frypan.
Once pine nuts are toasted, remove to a bowl and add olive oil and garlic cloves to the frypan.
Cook over gentle heat until the garlic colours.
Discard the cloves and remove pan from the heat.
Hand shred the basil.
Once pasta is cooked, drain and transfer to a heated bowl.
Toss with the olive oil.
Mix through some parmesan cheese, then the pine nuts and basil.
Serve and top with a little more cheese and freshly ground pepper to taste.

This pasta was really easy and tasty, I'll make it again as long as my basil keeps growing! The garlic oil is wonderfully subtle and the Parmesan cheese brings a creamy saltiness. Yum!



  1. Heart shaped pasta! That is ridiculously cute and perfect for Valentine's Day!

  2. Heart shaped pasta are too cute! Shellie made heart shaped pasta too, but hers were from Aldi, not all the way from Germany! J is a lucky man! :)

  3. Yay! I used heart pasta too... and a Nigella recipe!
    Gorgeous work :)

  4. ohhh how cute - made with lots of love! :) looks delicious

  5. Thanks everyone! The recipe and pasta worked out really well - except for one slight drawback, that I'll post about soon..!

  6. Those heart shaped pasta is so cute. Must get some too.

  7. Sounds really delicious, quick & easy, just right for some of my basil too