Creamy Pesto Pasta
Pesto Pasta is a Italian specialty pasta prepared with pesto sauce. Pesto sauce is a very simple sauce made with Italian Basil, Olive oil, Pine nuts and garlic. It is very herby, creamy and nutty sauce which goes very well with pasta. Creamy pesto is a combination of pesto sauce and cheese sauce. It is a amazing combination which creates mouth drooling pasta.
This sauce is authentically prepared with parmesan cheese but because it is not easily available in India and is quite expensive, I skipped it. If you have it do add 1 tbs of grated parmesan in the sauce. I have used regular cheese spread and processed cheese which also tastes great. Now Basil is also a rare and expensive ingredient in India, If you don’t have, use spinach completely, taste will change but you can still prepare it and use dried basil for flavor.
Dried basil can be easily found at any department store. Pine nuts (chilgoje), are very expensive, so you can easily replace them with walnuts or almonds for that nutty flavor in the sauce. You can easily prepare this yummy pasta even if you don’t have all the ingredients, use the substitutes and prepare it. It is a very different and yummy pasta recipe.
Recipe Type : Pasta , Main Course
Time: 10-15 minutes
For the Pesto sauce
15-16 Basil Leaves
1/4 cup Spinach Leaves
6 tbs Extra Virgin olive oil
2 tbs Pine Nuts/Walnuts/Almonds
4-5 Garlic cloves
10-12 Black Peppercorns
To Taste Salt
For the Cheese sauce
1 tsp Refined Flour (maida)
1 tbs Butter (makkhan)
1 tbs Cheese Spread
1/2 Cup Milk
To taste Salt
For the Pasta
200 gms Spaghetti pasta
1 Tomato (chopped) or cherry tomatoes
4-5 Black Olives (Sliced)
2 tbs Fresh Cream
1/4 tsp Black pepper crushed
1/2 tsp Dried Basil
2 tbs Grated Processed cheese (or cheese cube)
Method (Step by step creamy pesto pasta recipe)
1. First of all boil 4-5 glasses of water in a deep pan and put 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp oil in it. Add spaghetti when it starts boiling and boil the spaghetti on low flame for 10 minutes. Drain the spaghetti when done. Do not rinse it with water. (Keep 1/2 cup pasta water reserved for sauce)
3. To make pesto sauce, take all the pesto sauce ingredients in a mixer and grind it to smooth paste. Olive oil should be added little by little. You can add more olive oil If you feel it is required.
4. Now we will prepare cheese sauce, take a pan and add milk, refined flour, cheese spread and butter together in it. Keep it to heat and stir continuously till it starts to thicken. Once it reaches desired consistency, switch off the flame and add salt.
6. This is our basic pesto pasta ready. Now to make creamy pesto we will add cheese sauce, cream, black pepper, olives and grated cheese to it and give it a good mix. Add pasta water and keep the pasta on heat. Cook it for 2 minutes more so that sauce coats pasta well.
- Tomatoes and olives are totally optional, you can omit them if you want.
- Pine nuts are pretty expensive, you can replace them with walnuts or almonds.
- Olive oil should good quality extra virgin olive oil only.
- Make more pesto if you want more Herby flavor.
- You can use all basil leaves and replace spinach and vice versa.
- If you don’t want to make cheese sauce, add 4-5 tbs of cream in the pesto sauce only.