Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Linguine with Basil Pesto

Recipe updated May 2015

Fresh pesto has got to be one of the best (if not the best) no-cook sauces ever created. Rich, herbal, cheesy—wonderful.

Traditional pesto is made with five simple ingredients: basil, garlic, pine nuts, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese. During the summer months, when the garden is teeming with fresh basil, that’s the only herb I use for pesto. Off-season, however, flat-leaf parsley is a good substitute and oven-dried tomatoes make a deliciously rich tomato-based pesto.

A variety of nuts work well too. If pine nuts are hard to find, substitute pecans, walnuts, macadamia, or almonds, as I’ve done here.

Serves 4

  • 1/4 cup broken almond pieces
  • 2 cups packed basil leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup grated or shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 8 oz linguine
Fresh Basil
Pesto Ingredients
  1. Heat a small, dry skillet over medium heat. Add the almonds and lightly toast, shaking the pan frequently to prevent scorching, 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool 5 minutes.
Lightly Toast the Almonds
  1. Place the toasted almonds, basil, and garlic in a food processor and season with salt and pepper. Grind until finely chopped.
  2. With the processor on, slowly pour in the extra virgin olive oil. Scrape down the sides of the processor bowl and process until smooth. Transfer the sauce to a bowl and stir in the cheese.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the linguine in a pot of boiling, salted water until al dente, 8-9 minutes. Drain.
  4. Return the drained pasta to the pot and add the pesto. Toss well to combine.
Basil Mixture Ready to Process
Ground Basil Mixture
Oil Added
Cheese Stirred In
Pasta and Pesto Combined
Divide among 4 pasta bowls and serve right away.

Linguine with Basil Pesto

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