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Linguine With Pesto

Budding chefs will enjoy making this Italian dish with a beautiful green sauce


Posted: 16 September 2011
by Junior

Serves 4

Pesto is a bright green sauce from Liguria in northern Italy. Italians usually eat pesto with linguine or trofie pasta, which are little twisted rope shapes, but it’s also delicious with steamed green beans or fresh gnocchi. Traditionally, pesto is made with a pestle and mortar, which is perfect for pounding the ingredients – borrow one from a friend if you don’t have one. You can also make it in a food processor.

Ingredients

40g (11/2oz) of Parmesan
1/2 clove garlic
Pinch of salt
40g (11/2oz) pine nuts
25 fresh basil leaves
3–4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
400g (14oz) dried linguine pasta
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Grate the cheese and put to one side. Crush the garlic and a small pinch of salt (this makes it easier to squash the garlic) in a pestle and mortar or whizz in a food processor. Add the pine nuts and crush or whizz them into small pieces. 

2. Add the basil leaves and mash the leaves into small pieces. Try to do this as quickly as possible to keep the bright green colour – the longer you bash, the darker the leaves will go. If you’re using a food processor, blend in short bursts.

3. Spoon the mixture into a bowl and mix in the cheese. Then gradually add the olive oil until you have a sauce that just drops off your spoon. Hey presto, you’ve made pesto! 

4. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and cook the linguine according to the packet instructions. If your child is doing this, you will need to help him drain the linguine and tip it back into the empty pan. Add the pesto and stir to coat the pasta. Season with black pepper and serve.

Adapted from The Silver Spoon For Children by Amanda Grant (Phaidon, £12.95). 


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