Pasta alla Genovese. Sort of. My family is from Sicily not the boot, so I took some liberties with the ingredients. Namely I subbed pecorino cheese for the parmigiano, and pistachios for the pine nuts. Other than that it's true to the original.
This is a simple and delicious recipe that can be prepared in less than fifteen minutes start to finish. Once you get confident enough to eyeball the ingredients, you can drop the pasta and pull the pesto together in the eight or so minutes it will take to cook the pasta to a perfect al dente.
I made my own pasta with locally milled organic whole wheat flour, but a good organic whole grain pasta will do the trick just the same. But if you have the time, extra credit for home made.
200 g whole grain pasta
112 g basil leaves
50 g pistachios (no shells)
200 g pecorino cheese
10 g garlic clove, smashed
5 g kosher salt
200 g extra virgin olive oil
Drop the pasta is a large pot of boiling water seasoned with a bit of salt. Set a timer according to the recommendations of the manufacturer. Stir the pasta from time to time to ensure that it cooks evenly and doesn't stick together.
While the pasta is boiling combine all of the other ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until you achieve the texture that you personally like. I prefer a coarser texture to contrast with the pasta, but that's just me.
When the timer goes off check the texture of the pasta. If it is ready proceed. If not cook it longer, checking every thirty seconds or so until it has just a bit of bite in the center.
Strain of most of the water, reserving about three tablespoons in the pot along with the noodles. Add the pesto and mix well. Divide into four pasta bowls and serve. It's beautiful and complete as is, but if you want to get fancy garnish with some freshly torn basil leaves and shards of cheese over the top.