Pesto alla Genovese

Pesto alla GenoveseThis classic pesto is probably one of my all time favorite pasta recipes. The first time I tried it, when I was just a little kid, I immediately threw a tantrum upon seeing the horrible green color on a sacred pasta. But after the first bite, the anger quickly turned to shame, and I had to grumble to my parents that it wasn’t all that bad. The second time I was more enthusiastic, and by the third I was probably fighting over who got more with my siblings, as usual. This is truly one of the greatest things to come out of Italy, and I think it deserved more attention than I gave it when I first created this site. It was one of the first recipes I posted, and now I think I’ve done it justice. If you enjoy it even half as much as I do, you’ll still love it.

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 240g fresh basil (counting the stems)
  • 80g pine nuts
  • 75ml olive oil
  • 50ml oat milk
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 400g linguine (any pasta works, but these are the classic)

Preparation (20-25 minutes)

Fill up a pot about halfway with water and leave it to boil (it has to be big enough to fit all of the pasta later). Put all of the olive oil, half of the coconut milk, the garlic, and a handful of basil into a blender. Now blend! When it’s nice and smooth, add another handful of basil and blend it again. Continue this process until you’ve added all of the basil. If the blender starts having some difficulty at some point, add coconut milk. When all of the basil, olive oil, garlic, and oat milk has been blended together, blend it some more, and add the nutritional yeast. While blending, slowly add the pine nuts. If you add them all at once you will most likely break your blender, so as strong as the temptation will be, don’t. By now the water should be boiling. Add the pasta. Stir every 2 minutes or so. On the pack of pasta it should tell you how long it takes to cook. Either way, after about 8 minutes start taking out pasta every now and then and tasting it to see if it’s cooked yet. It shouldn’t be disgustingly soft and overcooked. Don’t do that. Once you’ve judged that the pasta is ready, strain it, throw it back in the pot without any water, and the pesto straight from the blender. Mix it around, and then just shove it onto your plate and it’s ready for eating!

Tip: pesto sauce freezes very well, which means that you can easily make tons of the sauce beforehand, freeze it, and then all you have to do is stick it in the microwave while the pasta is boiling. This is absolutely amazing, because it means that on those days when you’re feeling way too lazy to cook, you can whip out the vegan pesto, which will never fail you!
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