I luuuurve pesto. I especially like it tossed into some warm tagliatelle with crispy bacon and sautéed mushrooms. But even so, I am a bit of a pleb when it comes to making it - usually going for the bottled Sacla option (pretty good stuff). 'Pasta Pesto' - despite its Italian origins is probably a staple of many a Brit diet - and I am sure there are others out there who crave it like I do from time to time!
|Mr Jules's Almond pesto tossed into tagliatelle with bacon and mushrooms.|
The bad news is that a jar of Sacla pesto in India costs a minimum 425 Rs - or £4.50/$7 a throw. Why spend that much when you can make a good alternative yourself? (Or in my case, get Mr Jules to make it...he trained as a chemist, so he's very good at these things you know).
You can't buy pine nuts here (at least I don't think so and even if you could they would cost a fortune). So Mr Jules substitutes in almonds. The result is great and you can't really tell the difference.
Great for a Monday night supper...super easy!
Here is the recipe:
Mr Jules's Almond Pesto
Makes enough for 4 servings.
50g blanched almonds (we buy them whole, soak them in boiling water for a bit and then peel them)
Two to three handfuls of basil leaves (available on Pali Market etc) - no stalks
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 cloves of garlic
Lemon juice (to taste)
Good handful of grated Parmesan cheese.
- Grind the almonds in a mixer grinder/blender (or in our case, a mini-chopper).
- Add the basil and chopped garlic and once it's all blended, add the olive oil to get a thick paste.
- Add the grated parmesan and continue to blend and add the lemon juice - about half of one of the Indian limu or a quarter of a sicilian lemon (you can add more to taste).
- Add more oil until you get a loose paste.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Toss into a cooked pasta of your choice
|If in India - start of with whole almonds which you should soak in boiling water before peeling off the skins.|
|Our mini chopper - the star of most of my recipes!|
|The almond/basil paste - needs loosening up with a bit more olive oil...|
|Same ingredients - but this time with farfalle. You can also try pesto and al-dente green beans - more healthy!|