Saturday, July 21, 2012

pasta and pesto.

I came home from town this morning to find my husband proudly holding a plate of homemade bowtie pasta. After telling him how great it looked, I asked "So you found the pasta maker?"
Looking quite confused,  "What pasta maker?"
I pulled a box out of the cabinet and revealed an old school pasta maker that I picked up at a yard sale last summer.
"ugh. That would have made this MUCH easier".
We cooked the bowtie pasta and papa was heavily praised for his mad pasta making skills. However, he couldn't seem to walk away from the pasta maker for long.

The two youngest littles laid down and napped at the same time today. That time miraculously coincided with a break in the rain we've been having for a few days. This afforded me a few minutes to run to the garden and harvest some beans, beets, corn, one single solitary squash, the first 2 yellow cherry tomatoes (which were quickly devoured by hubs and Brielle) and the huge lemon basil bush. I've beens admiring that darn lemon basil and wondering why it was sooo big and what in the world I was going to do with it. Today was the day I needed to just leap. I chopped most of it down and spent 30 minutes pulling off all the leaves. It turned out to be over 10 packed cups of fresh basil leaves!

Brielle wants you to know that she picked the brussel sprouts!
What's a gal to do with that much basil? Well pesto, of course!! We did a bit of taste testing to work out the flavor but I am really happy with the end result. It's definately lemony. I wouldn't use it with a meat sauce, but it will be amazing with chicken, fish, shrimp, eggs, pasta... ahhh, the list could go on and on.

I'll let you guess what happened when papa saw the vat of pesto on the counter..... yep! You guessed it, he made pasta!! It was really neat to watch Brielle and papa work together to turn 4 eggs and 2 cups of flour into a huge pot of pasta that fed our entire family with some left over for later.

My handsome hubs getting in touch with his Italian side!! I'm not sure why, but his NY accent was much heavier during this.

The pesto was a perfect match!

Here's a jumping off point for the recipe. It's a huge batch so break it down to the size you need. Plan to taste as you go and make adjustments.
Lemon Basil Pesto
8 cups of lemon basil, packed
2 cups toasted walnuts (I laid them on a cookie sheet at 350 for about 15 minutes)
10 cloves of garlic
3 (ish) cups of extra virgin olive oil
3-4 cups freshly grated parmesean cheese
Add the basil, walnuts and cheese to your food processor (we used our blendtec blender which worked fine). Blend all ingredients together. Add about 1/2 the olive oil and blend. Slowly add more oil until you reach the consistency you desire. Add salt and pepper to taste.

I put three small containers in the freezer and one pint in the fridge for immediate consumption. I did add a layer of oil to the top of all containers to aid in freshness. Several of the recipes I read said not to add the cheese if you were going to freeze, but I did it anyway. We'll see I guess.

Hubs and I sat around the table with our littles and felt quite proud of the dinner we had made.  Much more than if we had simply dumped a box of dry pasta into water and spooned on pesto from a jar. There was love in that pasta and pesto.
I hope today finds you with love, and maybe a little garden harvest, around your table.

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