Meatless Monday - Pesto Pasta
We try to eat mostly vegetarian meals at home. Cooking less meat is healthier for us, and tends to cost less at the grocery store. Today we are making fresh pesto pasta using ingredients from our garden. First, we will prepare the dough, then make the pesto sauce, cut and cook the pasta, and finally put it all together. The recipe makes about 6-8 servings and should take between 1-1.5 hrs to complete. Here's what you'll need:
2-3 cups Flour
~1 Tbs Olive Oil
1-1.5 cups Basil
2-3 Garlic Cloves
~1/2 cup Olive Oil
~1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
~1/4 cup Pine nuts (or sub your favorite - we used walnuts)
Salt and pepper to taste
Making the dough is probably the trickiest part about this recipe.
Getting the ratio of eggs to flour correct to make a well-shaped ball of dough is key. We used our Kitchen Aid mixer with the dough hook for about 10 minutes then kneaded the dough for a couple minutes. Start with fewer eggs and less flour and add as-needed.
After all the ingredients are incorporated your dough should look like this:
Prep the pesto!
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for about an hour. While the dough is resting, make the pesto sauce. We used a food processor to really blend up the basil and nuts. Combine all the ingredients and blend! Add salt and pepper to taste.
Now you're ready to cut the pasta.
We have a pasta maker by Cucina Pro that we bought online. Follow the instructions for your pasta maker and have flour handy so it doesn't stick to the machine or to itself. Pass pasta sheets through the flat roller a few times then switch to the cutting tool. We chose angel hair cut. We used a baking rack to let the pasta dry for a few minutes before cooking.
Fresh pasta cooks in seconds depending on the cut. Drain it, add the pesto sauce, top with Parmesan, and enjoy!