Everyone has that one recipe that they go back to time and time again, and for me it's pesto. Perhaps it's the ease in throwing it together, or the fact that its traditional use is with my favourite carb, but there is something about its herby, garlicky notes that keep it firmly on my go-to recipe list.
Recently I was asked what my favourite plate of food was, and I'll admit I had never really considered what my last supper request would be should I be faced with the fairly morbid scenario. My answer? A heaving plate of pasta with pesto.
I can't say this revelation didn't surprise me, I really had always considered myself to be one of those who would opt for a steak with a side of fried chicken and macaroni cheese to be all and end all with. Ultimately pesto just has a space in my heart and stomach that is reserved indefinitely, and I guess that's not a bad way to finish things off, amirite?
What I love about pesto is its versatility. Every green herb or leaf that I throw at it seems to work in its own right, with unfamiliar flavour profiles lending themselves to different parts of the palate, adding an element of discovery each time I try a new combination. This particular pesto is made using chives as well as basil, resulting in luxuriously garlicky undertones while keeping it classic. Use it on pasta like I've done here, or dot it onto ricotta on toast - it is all good.
CHIVE + BASIL PESTO
20g fresh chives
10g fresh basil leaves, stalks discarded
3 tablespoons pine nuts
1 garlic clove, minced
6 tablespoons olive oil
30g parmigiano reggiano, finely grated
- In a food processor, add the herbs, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil and a good pinch of salt and pepper and blend.
- Scrape the pesto mixture into a bowl and by hand stir in the grated parmesan. Add an extra glug of olive oil for good measure.
- Cook your pasta of choice until al dente (allow 100g per person), reserving a little of the cooking water before draining. Add 1-2 heaped tablespoons of pesto per person, along with a splash of the reserved water.
- Serve immediately.