I decided to make a big batch of pesto to have for future use and also for this pasta dish. Pesto is great for so many things.
Appetizer for impromptu guests: I always have French bread in the freezer. Pop it in the oven at 350 degrees F, once soft enough cut in half, length wise and drizzle with olive oil and add a thick layer of pesto. You can add a slice of tomato and cheese such as parmesan or fresh mozzarella to put on top. Put it back in the oven for 5 more minutes at 350 degrees F. It makes a great little appetizer.
Tea sandwiches: Put some Pesto on a slice of bread with turkey and a slice of tomato. Place other slice of bread on top and cut into fours.
Finger foods: Stuff Cherry tomatoes with pesto or use as a dip with veggies. If you have parmesan cheese put a small shaved piece on top.
Chicken Breast-cut a sliver into breast and stuff with pesto.
Pork Chops- cut a sliver into side of pork chop and stuff with pesto.
Steak- jazz it up with a dollop of pesto before serving.
Soups: Add flavor with a spoon of pesto.
The list goes on… pizza… flat bread… filo dough…
Pasta: I play around with the ingredients that go with the pesto pasta as well as type of pasta. I’ve added all sorts of things. You can add Slices of chicken breast, scallops, grilled shrimp and play around with a veggie ingredient. I tend to stick to cherry or grape tomatoes.
Tonight I made my dish with scallops, grape tomatoes and parsley.
Pesto Recipe: I make a huge amount so that I can keep a jar in the fridge, covered in a thick layer of olive oil to keep for up to 2 weeks and freeze the rest.
1 clove garlic- if you want it more garlic tasting add two.
1 cup parmesan cheese
2 cups pine nuts-I put a lot cause I’m nutty
1 big bunch of basil-maybe 2 cups worth
1 1/2 to 2 cups extra virgin olive oil
I make this in a Cuisinart. If you don’t have one, you can do it the old Italian way with a mortar and pestle. If you don’t have that, then start really chopping and mashing!!!
Put one clove garlic and chop it up. Add the pine nuts, the basil and then the parmesan cheese. Keep it spinning while adding massive amounts of olive oil, pouring it through the opening of the cuisinart.
And voila, you have pesto. You can get inventive and make a parsley pesto, just use parsley vs basil. I’ve also made a walnut and parsley pesto by swapping out the pine nuts and basil with walnuts and parsley. Sun-dried tomato pesto is also wonderful, just use this recipe and add 1 cup of softened sun-dried tomatoes.
Now for the pasta dish:
For two people
Boil water for pasta-I used Fettuccini-see box for serving size
While water is boiling chop a bunch of parsley -1/4 cup
Halve the grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes-about 6-8 tomatoes per serving
Heat a frying pan with 1 tablespoon butter. Once butter is melted add your scallops and sear on both sides-2 mins max per side.
Drain Pasta and put back into pasta pot.
Add 3 big heaping spoons of pesto and stir together till well incorporated. You may want to use more or less pasta depending on taste.
Put pasta into bowls, toss in tomatoes, arrange scallops and lastly add the parsley, a bit of salt and pepper to taste.
A fresh, home-made Pesto made to this recipe. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: this is a picture of self made pesto in a mortar. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)