Basil, Macadamia & Parmesan Pesto with Gluten Free Pasta
- 5 cups fresh basil leaves, triple washed, cleaned and dried - save a few leaves for garnish.
- ¼ cup macadamia nuts, lightly toasted
- 2 teaspoons fresh garlic, peeled
- ½ cup parmesan reggiano cheese, extra for sprinkling
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 4 tablespoons warm water, from blanching the basil
- 2 tablespoons macadamia oil
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, or more to taste
- 8 ounces gluten free spaghetti, such as Ancient Harvest Quinoa Pasta
Fill a large pot with water, bring to a boil. Meanwhile add the next 4 ingredients into the bowl of a food processor; macadamia nuts, garlic, parmesan and salt.
Add 2 cups of ice to a large bowl of water (or fill up a clean sink). Blanch the basil by plunging it into the boiling water for 3 seconds, it will turn bright green.
Take out the basil with a sieve and place in the the ice water to cool. In a minute or two, take the basil out of the water (save 4T. of the water), and squeeze the basil until dry with paper towels. Add the basil to the food processor with the other ingredients. Add 4 tablespoons of blanching water, turn on and process for 1 minute.
Add 2 T. macadamia oil and 4 T. extra virgin olive oil slowly through the feed tube. Leave to process for 2 minutes until smooth. This is a concentrated pesto. Add more olive oil when using it as needed.
Cook the pasta, this brand takes 10 minutes. Drain (save 1/4 cup water) and shake in a colander. Do not rinse. Place pasta in a large bowl, add 1/2 cup - 3/4 cups pesto and mix well. Will have extra pesto for another day. To make a smoother sauce, add a few tablespoons of the pasta water and a few tablespoons of olive oil as desired. Garnish with some grated parmesan and basil leaves and enjoy.
Place remaining pesto in an airtight container, add a layer of olive oil on top - will help keep longer.
Servings: 6 (with some pesto left over)
Use pine nuts for macadamia nuts.
Can replace extra virgin olive oil for macadamia oil.
Can use varieties of Italian Pecorino if you like in place of all or some of the Parmesan Reggiano.
Can substitute your favorite italian pasta for the gluten free variety.
Serve with Baby Artichoke and Fava Bean Sauce