Pasta with Fresh Pesto

Pasta with Fresh Pesto
Pasta with Fresh Pesto

Pasta with Fresh Pesto

So last week I was in tech and then the run of a show. I had to make really quick dinners because by the time I got done nannying or doing whatever I was doing, I usually had only an hour to cook and eat before heading out to the theater. I pulled out the Alice Waters cookbook and looked for something incredibly quick and delicious. I came across a recipe for fresh pesto (which takes like no time at all to make), and immediately got very excited. Many years ago, a friend of mine named Sierra studied abroad in Italy. When she returned she came over to our house and made us fresh pesto, and man, there is nothing like pasta with fresh pesto. So, with that delicious meal in mind, I set out on my own pesto expedition.

Pasta with Fresh Pesto


1 lb dry pasta
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup lightly toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup (or more) freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 cup lightly packed basil
1/2 cup olive oil


First, you’ll want to boil a big old pot of water that has been abundantly salted. While that’s boiling, you can get started on the pesto. Now the cookbook said to use a mortar and pestle but a) who has those anymore and b) why use those when you have a food processor? If you don’t have a food processor, then I suggest you return to the mortar/pestle technique.

In your food processor, combine garlic and salt, pulse. Then add the pine nuts, pulse again until finely minced. Now add in the cheese, pulse again. Ready for the green? Coursely chop your basil, and add it to the food processor, and… you guessed it… pulse! Now add your olive oil and pulse again.

While you’ve been doing all this pesto stuff, hopefully you’ve not forgotten about cooking your pasta. The recipe in the book said to reserve 1 cup of pasta water and add it along with the pesto, but I did not do this… Mostly because I didn’t read the recipe (STUPID ANNIE. You should always ALWAYS read through a recipe completely before you make it). I think I just figured pasta + pesto = delicious, what else could you possibly need to do? Anyway, it all still worked out just fine. As I was saying, cook your pasta, strain it (reserving pasta water if you’d like), and put it back in the pot with the pesto. Mix it up and serve with a light dusting of parmesan cheese.