Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Creamy Pesto

My new favorite meal is pasta with creamy pesto sauce, which I made on a creative whim the other day. I recently read Kitchen Counter Cooking School, which I'll review later, but one of the chapters talked about how inexpensive and easy it is to make pasta sauce, so I've been making lots of pasta sauce lately. In particular, I've been making lots of Alfredo sauce. Between Kitchen Counter Cooking School and Better Homes and Gardens, this is roughly my recipe:

1 clove garlic (chopped)
Olive oil
1 cup heavy whipping cream
Parmesan cheese
Pasta water (optional)

Sauté garlic in olive oil in small sauce pan over medium heat. Add heavy whipping cream and stir occasionally. When sauce thickens to point where you can scrape with spoon and see bottom of the pan, add pasta water if you need more sauce and boil down to same thickness. If not, add Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. And voilà! Alfredo sauce.

I've also been making pesto with roughly this recipe: 

Olive oil
Pine nuts

Mix together in food processor or Magic Bullet until it looks like pesto. You can also add garlic and Parmesan cheese.

One thing I've learned is that you can spoon portions of fresh pesto into ice cube trays and freeze them for later use, which has been very handy since it's pretty much impossible to make one serving.

So one day, I was making pasta and couldn't decide if I wanted to use my frozen pesto or my heavy whipping cream before it went bad. And that's when I said, "Why don't I just mix them together?"

 Best. Idea. Ever.

So basically I made my Alfredo sauce and then dropped a pesto cube into the pot and let it melt as I mixed it. Then I poured it over my pasta and it was perfect. The only downside is that I seem to be an expert at making exactly one serving too many and the Alfredo sauce tends to separate when I put it in the fridge. It still tastes fine but it's not the same as when it's fresh.

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