Tuesday, 11 May 2010

My Spinach Pesto Sauce for Pasta

As I have mentioned in my earlier post Creamy Spinach Pesto for Pasta, here is my Spinach pesto recipe. Before I go straight to the ingredients and cooking instruction, I'd like to share my research about pesto sauces.

Pesto is an oil-based sauce which originated from Italy.  Pesto might have come from the word pestâ  which means "to pound, to crush" since the old way of making the pesto is by pounding the herbs, nuts, and garlic using a mortar and pestle.

Traditionally, pesto is made from basil which  most commonly known as pesto alla genovese or pesto genovese.  In which it is made with Genovese basil, garlic, toasted pine nuts, extra virgin olive oil, salt  and grated cheese like Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano etc.

In modern day world, alternatives to basil and the rest of the ingredients are used depending on the preference of the cook and the eater.  I love basil as much as I love pesto but most of the times I couldn't find any fresh basil leaves in the grocery or supermarket here in Singapore so I have to find a good substitute.

The first time I made a spinach pesto was 3 to 4 years ago in our home in Tabuk, during Christmas dinner.  Cloyed with all the oily, fatty, and creamy dishes that we often serve during christmas and new year's dinner (Lechon kawali and spasta are always present) I thought of making pasta with pesto for myself (we had bought a lot of local spinach leaves at that time) then mama (mama Tessie) asked me to make one for her, then the rest of my siblings wanted it too.

And here it is- my Spinach Pesto Sauce for Pasta

Ingredients:

Fresh Spinach Leaves  - 3 to 4 bundles

Basil leaves, dried - 1tsp

Olive oil - 1/4 cup

Garlic, chopped - 3 cloves

Salt & Pepper to taste

1/4 cup of Pine nuts maybe added, walnut or cashew nuts, can also be used instead of pine nuts, whichever are available.  The nuts must be lightly roasted to give a creamier texture to the sauce.  We only use small amount of garlic in this recipe since the acid in the spinach will pick up the flavor of the garlic.

Cooking Procedure:

1) Clean and take out the leaves of the spinach.

2) In a food processor or blender, blend the spinach and the rest of the ingredients until the mixture is smooth.

- Serve this with pasta noodles topped with your favorite cheese.

- the pesto can also be stored to be used for some other time.  Just make sure to place it in a clean bottle and refrigerate it.

-Sharosem (10May2010)

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