Welcome to August... I could do without the recent 109 degree day, it almost made me forget I am currently living in OR and no longer in Asia. But, August does bring some of my favorite flavors, vine ripened tomatoes, ripe watermelon and lush and fragrant basil.
In fact, I am excited to share that my garden is finally complete and everything is taking off nicely. Yes, even my basil has finally started to fill out. I like to plant it between my tomato cages. There is nothing better than the smell of hot basil and tomatoes in the afternoon.
The biggest chore with fresh basil is to keep using it! See the tops below? My plants were trying to flower. That was the signal that I needed to give them all a good trim... and I had to come up with a good recipe to use all that amazing basil.
Today, not only am I finally getting to harvest the basil from my garden, but I am sliding in under the wire to share my August Secret Recipe Club recipe. This month I was given bcmom's kitchen.
Anna confesses that her blog is a way to keep track of all the recipes she really enjoys. I am sure she is never at a loss on what to make for dinner, her blog is full of great recipes. I have to admit that I wish I had been assigned Anna's blog in the Winter. I have bookmarked several of her soups to make later this year. Her Creamy Turkey and Wild Rice Soup is calling to me! But, days hitting over 100 degrees, soup is just not going to be on this week's menu! She really enjoys cooking and modifying recipes, which is evident in her posts.
I finally decided on making her Easy Pesto & Fettuccini recipe because it was so fitting for my current predicament.
And it turned out perfectly! Almonds are one of my favorite pesto choices because they are much less expensive than pine nuts. I keep my pesto green with a thin layer of olive oil on top to prevent oxidation. But, I will be making this stuff by the truckload next weekend to stock the freezer for winter. At that time I will fill ice cube containers and top with olive oil. So worth the extra effort!
from bcmom's kitchen
You Will Need:
- 1/4 c. almonds
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 1/2 c. fresh basil leaves, washed and patted dry
- 2 Tbsp. Parmesan (or more to taste)
- 1 pinch ground nutmg
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 c, olive oil, or more to achieve desired consistency and cover for storage
Toast the almonds on a baking sheet at 450 degrees for 6-8 minutes. Turn half-way through and remove when they are fragrant and lightly toasted.
In a food processor or blender, combine the almonds, garlic, basil, cheese, nutmeg and 1/2 c. olive oil. Pulse till smooth. I usually leave small chunks in mine, Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately by tossing with fresh cooked pasta and adding reserved pasta water till the pesto coats all the pasta.
To store the pesto, place in an airtight container. Smooth the top and pour a small amount of oil on tip to cover. If freezing, place prepared pesto in an ice cube tray and cover each well with a little oil. Cover with wrap and freeze. Once frozen, the pesto cubes can be popped out and stored in a zip topped container.
Now, the original recipe was for pre-made fettuccini but, since it was Sunday, I broke out the food processor and my new Kitchen-Aid pasta rollers for good old fashioned homemade fettuccini. Don't worry, I don't always have time to make fresh pasta... but, it is always a treat. If you haven't tried your hand at it, I urge you to try it. Check out my Shrimp Scampi post for info on making your own pasta noodles.
There is something just so satisfying about seeing all that beautiful pasta out to dry. Well, maybe not as satisfying as that first bite of homemade fettuccini noodles with fresh pesto.
Of course, Anna's pesto recipe could be used in so many other great ways... I also love pesto with tortellini, on chicken and even with tomatoes. To me, pesto is such a great and fresh gift from summer on the farm.