Updated: Sep 14
Makes 3 serves - Preparation time 15 min - cooking time 10 min
-180g 00 flour + 20g semolina wheat flour(or 200g all-purpose flour)
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
-1 cup fresh basil leaves
-½ cup fresh parsley leaves
-1/4 cup breadcrumbs
-1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
-1 clove garlic (roasted or fresh)
-1/3 cup olive oil
-Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
To make the pasta dough from scratch, check my guide here.
While the dough is resting, prepare pesto.
In a medium frying pan, toast pine nuts over medium heat, stirring frequently until nice and fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Pour them into a bowl to cool down. Toasted pine nuts give extra flavor, but you can also use them not toasted.
Combine oil, basil, parsley, pine nuts, garlic and salt in a food processor or blender. With the machine running, slowly drizzle in a few spoonful of very cold water. Continue processing until the mixture is well blended but still has some texture, pausing to scrape down the sides as necessary.
Add black pepper and Parmesan. Taste and adjust seasoning if required.
Set aside in the fridge until needed.
After the resting time, roll the dough out. Using a sharp knife or a pasta cutter, slice the pasta into pieces that are about 3 x 5 cm. Take each rectangle and with lightly floured fingers, pinch in the middle to create your butterfly shaped pasta.
Place the farfalle on a baking sheet liberally dusted with flour and keep it covered. Continue in the same fashion with the rest of the dough. If you want to dry out the pasta, simply leave it out overnight covered with a dish towel.
Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil. Cook farfalle for about 3 minutes.
Spoon the pesto into a large bowl and add just cooked, drain farfalle. Pesto is the rare pasta sauce that isn’t heated, all for the sake of keeping that beautiful emerald green colour.
Garnish with some more Parmesan and toasted bread crumbs.
Check my recipe for Farfalle with creamy roasted beetroot pesto here.
More about pesto:
Pesto is very versatile, it can be used as a sauce for pasta, but can be also drizzled over grilled or roasted fish or vegetable. It can also be whipped into ricotta and used as ravioli filling or a spread for an easy and tasty Bruschetta.
Pesto can be blended in a blender or can be pounded in a marble mortar with a pestle.
As much as I hate to admit it, pounded pesto always tastes better than the blended one.
In this recipe I will use the blender, but feel free to use a mortar instead.
When using a machine to blend basil, the key is to avoid overdoing it, because oxidation that occurs from overchopping, will cause the basil to turn brown. So, pour half of the olive oil into the bottom of the blender, to encourage the basil to break down into liquid as quickly as possible.
The heat the motor generates will also cause the basil to turn brown, so drizzle in a few spoonful of very cold water while blending.
Using raw garlic in a pesto, really gives a very strong taste, so if you, like me, don’t like that, just roast or lightly suatee the garlic with a bit of olive oil in a small frying pan. I recently watched Massimo Bottura’s Masterclass, and he just cut the garlic open and rubbed it in the internal walls of the blender to make pesto. Doing this you will have a very light scent of garlic.
Store leftover pesto, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Add enough olive oil to cover the sauce to prevent oxidation. Pesto can also be frozen—my favorite way is in an ice cube try. Once frozen, transfer to a container with a lid, then you can thaw only as much as you need later.
Pesto lends itself particularly well to substitutions. So, change the greens (spinach, pea shoots, baby chard, zucchini, broccoli), nuts (walnuts, almonds, pistachios, macadamia nuts) and cheese (Pecorino Romano, Asiago, Manchego) depending on what you have on hand. Create your own pesto with the ingredients you like the most, and enjoy it!
Hope you enjoy this recipe! If you make it, please let me know your thoughts and tag me on my Fb page Pasta Journey or my Instagram a_pasta_journey . I would love to hear from you!