Pasta meets Pesto

What's a girl to do when she hasn't got anywhere urgent to go and it hasn't stopped raining for nearly 24 hours? She lazes around in sloth like fashion all day and suddenly has the bright idea late in the afternoon to make homemade pasta and a batch of pesto with all the fresh basil she picked up at the food swap yesterday!

It's been soooo long since I had the pasta machine out, but the basil-ey pesto idea was inspiring me. I had to have a good rummage through my books to consult my gurus. The pasta is really easy, I used some of the (blue!) eggs I also got yesterday from the swap. So, for the pasta it's:

4 eggs (as mine were small, I added an extra one)
400g flour
3 tsp salt

Mix by hand or in a food processor until all combined . Roll into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30-60 minutes.

Fossick in the back of the cupboard for the sadly neglected pasta machine, dust it off and clamp it to the bench. Starting on the thickest setting, start feeding wads of your dough through the rollers, cranking the handle as you go. Dust the dough with flour if it starts sticking to the machine. Gradually reduce the setting until the thinnest setting is reached and then decide if you are going to have linguine or fettuccine, and feed the dough through the relevant rollers.

Today, I went for fettucine. Hang the pasta up to dry, either over the back of a chair or on a long broom handle balanced on two chairs. At last! Another use for the long handled telescopic broom my dad gave me!

If the pasta is dried thoroughly, it can be stored in a cardboard cereal box at the top of the pantry. Otherwise, bundle it into packages and freeze it for future use.

And then...along came the pesto. The basil was and still is amazingly fragrant. The quantities I used were:

2 cups firmly packed basil leaves
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup pinenuts
4 cloves garlic
sea salt, to taste
120g parmesan, grated

Place all of the ingredients except the parmesan into a food processor (or large mortar & pestle), and whizz until all combined. Scrape down edges as you go.

Once all smoothly combined, scrape the mix into a bowl and stir through the parmesan. The pesto can be put into a glass jar (make sure it is clean and dry). Press down the pesto with a spoon to remove any air bubbles and top the surface with a film of olive oil.

Apparently it can keep like this in the fridge until the next basil growing season! Or as another book I have says, it can also be frozen. Enjoy!


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