Friday, February 10, 2017

Spaghetti with 5-Herb Pesto by Tom

Fresh Basil, Sage, Parsley, Tarragon and Celery Leaves Pesto

Barbara was flipping through one of her cookbooks and asking me what we should make for dinner that evening.  More accurately, what was I going to make for dinner.

I kind of had a desire for pasta.  So when she passed this recipe, I told her to stop.  Looked interesting and not to difficult to make.  Right on both counts.

This is really a three-step recipe.  Step 1: cut up four different herbs.  Five when you count the garnish on top.  Step 2:  puree in a food processor the ingredients for the pesto.  Step 3: prepare the spaghetti.  From then on it is just assembly.

What will strike you immediately is the fragrance coming from the herbs.  Next the garlic from the pesto.  And finally the beautiful aroma when it all comes together.

But it does not stop with the smell.  The taste is really good.

This dish was exactly what I was hoping for!  Great taste and a relatively light and healthy meal.

---Tom

Spaghetti with Fresh Herbs 
(from Williams-Sonoma Good Food To Share cookbook )

Serves 4

1 pound spaghetti
1 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
1 cup lightly packed fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley leaves
2 tablespoons lightly packed fresh tarragon leaves (our store did not have this, so I used dry tarragon about 1/2 tablespoon)
2 tablespoons lightly packed fresh sage leaves
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 clove of garlic, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup lightly packed celery leaves
salt and ground pepper to taste
Freshly grated Parmesan at the table



Finely chop the basil, parsley, tarragon and sage and place in a bowl.  Sprinkle in the lemon juice and lightly coat the herbs.

Next combine the garlic, Parmesan cheese and the pine nuts in a small food processor or blender.  With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream.  Process until the mixture is creamy and well blended.

Pour the oil mixture into the bowl with the herbs and stir to combine.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the spaghetti per the instructions on the box.  I like pasta to be al dente, which usually takes about 10-11 minutes.  When the spaghetti is at the desired consistency, drain through a colander, and then transfer to a serving bowl or individual plates, as we did.

Add the pesto mixture to the spaghetti.
Sprinkle on the celery leaves.  Add a little salt and pepper to taste.
Add grated Parmesan cheese.

This smells really good and it tastes really good!  Twirl and enjoy.

---Tom

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