Get your friends and family together for a dinner party this autumn and impress them by recreating our Purple Basil Pesto Genovese. This version is veggie, but if you prefer something meatier it also tastes great with torn chicken added. It's actually really quick and easy to make at home - if you can get your hands on some purple basil and edible flowers, they really add a beautiful pop of colour!
To make the Basil Pesto*:
50g toasted pine nuts
100g (a large bunch) of fresh basil leaves, stalks removed
100g Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1 garlic clove, crushed with a little sea salt
60ml (4 tablespoons) water
150ml ASK Italian extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
Place the pine nuts, basil, Parmesan, garlic and water in the bowl of a blender or food processor and process for 45 seconds. Pour in the olive oil and whizz again for 20 seconds. Scrape the pesto into a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste… then Hey Pesto, it’s ready! Cover with cling film and store in the refrigerator until needed. You can keep it in the fridge for a few days, and pesto also freezes well for up to a month - why not make up a batch and keep it to make the dish quickly for a bit of mid-week comfort food?
To make the Pasta Genovese:
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
4 tablespoon of Extra Virgin olive oil
200g topped and tailed green beans blanched
225g green pesto*
125ml single cream
Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper to season
500g fresh tagliatelle pasta
120g Purple Basil Pesto*
4 handfuls of toasted pine nuts
4 edible flowers
Bring a large pan of salted water to the rolling boil for the pasta.
Heat the oil in a pan on a low heat. Stir in the green beans, cream, water and green pesto.
Gently bring the sauce to the boil, Season lightly with salt and pepper.
Reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes, taking care not to let the cream separate.
Cook the Tagliatelle in the large pan of boiling salted water for 3 minutes. Drain.
Turn the Tagliatelle into the pesto sauce and cook together gently for 1-2 minutes.
Divide the pasta between hot serving bowls, top each with 4 teaspoons of purple basil pesto in dollops. Scatter a handful of toasted pine nuts, decorate with an edible flower and serve.
*The pesto recipe we’ve included here makes approximately 500g. Purple Basil is available in some UK supermarkets and speciality shops, but if you can’t get your hands on it just replace the purple basil pesto with green basil pesto and it will still be delicious. If you can’t do without the purple, why not try growing some of your own! You can switch the green and purple basil to make two batches for the different parts of the dish.
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