Thursday, 23 January 2014

Fettucine in Pesto Sauce

Yesterday I went crazy (read: shopping) at the Crawford Market with my best friend who has come down from New Zealand for a visit.

Shopping at Crawford Market
Shopping at Crawford Market yesterday!

I got a lot of fresh herbs - parsley, Italian basil and Thai basil, quality cheeses - Kraft Cheddar and Kraft grated Parmesan, pasta - Fettucine, sauces- Thai Sweet Chilly Sauce and Hershey's chocolate sauce, and Morde's dark and white chocolate compound from there without putting a big dent in my wallet. And now comes the best part... menu planning and cooking it all!

I picked up two packets of Italian basil for making (surprise surprise) my favourite pesto sauce. I also found the Fettucine (flat noodle pasta) that I have been looking for for quite some time and decided to put the two together into a quick pasta dish for a late lunch today - Fettucini in Pesto Sauce.

Fettucine in Pesto Sauce

Fettucine in Pesto Sauce

Fettucine in Pesto Sauce

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4


 For the Pasta

250gms Fettucine pasta (if you can't find it Spaghetti or Fusilli will do just as well)
2 litres water
1 tsp salt

For the Pesto Sauce

20-25 leaves Italian basil (2 packets)
5 walnuts deshelled
5 cloves of garlic
2 tbsps olive oil 
1 tbsp grated Parmesan (optional)

For the Final Dish

2 tbsps olive oil
Cooked pasta
2 tbsps pesto sauce
30 ml milk (optional)
30 ml cream (optional)
Salt to taste
2 tsps grated Parmesan to garnish (optional)


Cooking the Pasta

Put the pasta to cook first as it takes the longest to cook. Add the salt to the water and bring it to a boil. 

Put the pasta in and let it cook for 9-11 minutes on the high flame till it is al dente (basically just underdone such that it sticks to the teeth while chewing). Drain and keep.

Pesto Sauce

For making the pesto sauce, first grind the walnuts and the garlic in the mixer. The walnuts will break down faster and better this way so that you don't have to keep grinding for long or risk having chunks of walnuts in it. 

Put in the Italian basil next and grind till the leaves break down to a chutney-like texture. 

If you like the Parmesan cheese and are adding it now would be a good time to do it. Blitz till it is incorporated into the rest of the mixture.

Add in the olive oil last and blitz till it all comes together into a smooth paste.

You can store this in the refrigerator for at least two weeks if you have additional pesto. It makes for a good sandwich spread.

The Final Dish

Heat the olive oil in a pan. 

Put in the cooked pasta.

Add in the pesto sauce and salt and stir well till it coats all the pasta.

You can serve now with grated Parmesan cheese or add in the milk and cream if you wish it creamier. 

Fettucine in Pesto Sauce garnished with Grated Parmesan

I served it with my favourite Tomato Mozzarella Salad to make it a complete meal! It took 30 minutes and was a wonderful break from dal-chawal-roti-sabzi!

My lunch today!