Many of you know that Pesto is the most favorite sauce at my place compared to other sauces and basil pesto is the hot favorite one for both of us.It is just burst of flavors with the freshness from basil and the creaminess from nuts,cheese and EVOO.I generally add bechamel sauce to my pasta to make it into more saucy consistency,but to day I am sharing you the most simple pasta with basil pesto,one can go creative with the ingredients that go in it to make it according to your taste buds.
2 cups spiral pasta(or any other pasta)
1/2 cup basil pesto
3-4 garlic pods,sliced
1 tomato,seeded and diced
1 capsicum,seeded and diced
1 tsp mixed herbs
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 tbsp grated parmesan(optional)
8-10 basil leaves,torn
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
salt to taste
To Cook Pasta:
- Cook according to the instruction of your package or follow this procedure:
- Bring water to boil in a big pot (filled to its half) and add salt,1 tsp olive oil and pasta and cook over medium flame for 10-12 mins until al dente(cooked and tender to teeth).
- Drain and reserve 1/2 cup of water for later usage.you can even give a cold bath to the pasta by running it under fresh tap water which helps in keeping the pasta separate.
- Heat olive oil in a wide bottomed pan and fry sliced garlic until slight brown and crisp and add thinly sliced onions and fry until they are pink and soft.
- Now add sliced capsicum and diced tomato and saute it for few minutes.
- Add the basil pesto sauce and mix well.Add 4-5 tbsp of reserved pasta liquid if required add more to get a medium sauce consistency.
- Add cooked pasta and mix well until all the pasta is covered with the sauce and is warm.Now add red chili flakes,Italian herbs,basil leaves,salt and pepper and mix well.
- Dish it out to the serving platter and sprinkle some cheese over it.Garnish with basil.
- You can even add bechamel sauce in the above recipe to give a nice creamy texture to the pasta.
- You can add more Parmesan cheese while preparing sauce in the above recipe to make pasta more cheesy.
- You can replace spiral pasta with any of the pasta like penne,macaroni ,farfelle or any other pasta of your choice.
- You can add colored bell peppers,finely chopped carrot,blanched broccoli,thinly sliced mushrooms,blanched asparagus,zucchini to the pasta
- You can even fill the pasta in a baking dish and cover with grated Parmesan cheese(1/4-1/2 cup) and cover it with a foil and bake it in oven @ 160 degrees for 20 mins until the cheese melts.Serve it hot right from the oven.This would be a exclusive dish for parties especially or for special romantic dinners.
- For a Vegan version avoid parmesan cheese while making pesto,it tastes even delicious without cheese in it.