Pasta with Basil Pesto

Trofie is a short twisted pasta shape that is typically served with pesto.  I first had this pasta in Camogli, Italy just south of Genoa.  I spent one morning in a pasta shop watching two women making trofie and letting it dry before packaging it for sale.  Basil pesto is also from that region due to the abundance of basil grown in the area.  Be sure to make your pesto soon before tossing it with the pasta for the freshest and most vibrant green color and flavor.

3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 ounces pine nuts, toasted
1 cup olive oil
8 ounces basil
6 ounces Parmesan, grated
salt and pepper
1 pound dry pasta (I like trofie pasta)

In a 4 quart pot, fill halfway with water.  Put on stove and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, make pesto in a food processor by adding garlic, and pine nuts in bowl of the processor.  Pulse until blended, and slowly add olive oil, then basil. Run processor until combined. Add Parmesan and run processor again until it is your desired consistency, adding more oil if necessary.  Pour into a bowl and taste to see if salt is needed. When water in pot comes to a boil, add dry pasta and cook according to package, usually 12-16 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking.  When pasta is done, drain water and toss with pesto. Serve with shaved Parmesan, if desired.

MainsEvan Wei-Haas