There’s something about pesto that makes pasta seem a lot lighter and fresher. It’s the presence of pesto, obviously.
Pesto is traditionally a paste made out of basil, garlic, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, olive oil with salt and pepper. This paste is originally from the region of Liguria, more specifically, Genoa.
This gem is now popular worldwide and people have found many ways to tweak it like using different greens or using different kinds of nuts and oil.
In this recipe, we’re using wild garlic, a seasonal kind of greens to replace basil. This aromatic green is delicious with the traditional pesto ingredients – not to mention, fantastic with pasta noodles as well.
Make your own pasta or purchase from the store
Pasta, just like pesto, is arguably from Italy. Making pasta out of scratch is an enjoyable experience that in our opinion should be experienced at least once in your life.
Making fresh pasta is quite simple most especially when you have a pasta maker. If you only have a rolling pin, that’s no problem. It’ll be a lot more tasking to roll out the dough thinly but it’s still a gratifying experience. Making your own fresh pasta isn’t only enjoyable but you know exactly how much of any ingredient was used and it is less processed.
Store-bought pasta is I believe, equally as good. It is usually dried pasta that is ready to cook off the shelves of the grocery stores. It’ll take longer to cook and you have more control over it being al dente.
The preferences in using store-bought or fresh pasta totally depend on the kind of pasta you’re making or the kind of pasta mood you’re in.
How to keep your pasta from boiling over
When cooking pasta, you have to drop it in boiling, salted water and cook until the noodles get tender. The cooking time will depend on whether the pasta is fresh or dried. Regardless, to cook pasta means to boil it. When boiling, the water usually boils over the pot and leaves a royal mess around the kitchen.
To avoid this from happening, make sure the water isn’t up to the rim of the pot. Fill the pot up to the right amount, depend on how much pasta you’re cooking. It’s usually enough just “to cover” the noodles. Also, make sure the heat isn’t so high while boiling. Medium heat will allow for the water to boil as well.
How to keep your pasta from sticking
While pasta is cooking, chances are that the noodles may stick together if not stirred. It’s important to stir your pasta while it cooks in boiling water to avoid the noodles from sticking to each other.
Never add oil to your pasta water.
- Olive Oil. Olive oil is used for wild garlic pesto. You could use extra virgin olive oil for this or pomace. The olive oil is a good and subtle flavor addition to the pizza dough as well.
- Salt. We’re strong believers in sea salt.
- Wild Garlic. Wild Garlic is typically a foraged green that is in the same family as chives. It can be used like how you would use ramps, leeks and chives but more importantly, it could be used like how you would use garlic. This leafy green is good for making pesto!
- Pine Nuts. Since part of the dish is wild garlic pesto, that means we would like to use pine nuts. This pesto sure isn’t basil but we’d like to keep the rest of the traditional pesto ingredients in place.
- Garlic. Another pesto regular added into the wild garlic pesto. In this case, no, wild garlic may not replace garlic in pesto. We need the sharpness of regular garlic for this.
- Parmesan Cheese. We can’t go wrong with the classic, Grana Padano. If you don’t have this, regular Parmesan cheese would work. Although what could be more regular than Grana Padano?
- Pasta. If you have homemade fresh pasta, that’s great! If not, you can use store-bought dried pasta. We like using linguine for our pesto pasta.
How to make wild garlic pesto pasta with Parmesan
Making wild pesto pasta is very easy and there’s no need to be intimidated by it whatsoever.
First, you must boil your pasta water. Remember to fill up the pot with just enough water to cook the amount of pasta you’re preparing. Put salt in the pasta water. Some Italians say to make it as salty as the sea. We like adding 2 TBSP of salt.
Next, make the wild garlic pesto. Using a food processor, first blend the garlic clove and the pine nuts together. Add some salt and pepper then the wild garlic. Continue to process the greens while slowly adding the olive oil until it turns into a paste. You may add the finely grated Parmesan cheese while processing or after.
When the pasta is cooked, drain the pasta water. Place the pasta in a mixing bowl while the pasta is still hot. Add the wild garlic pesto and 3 TBSP of finely grated parmesan cheese until it forms a good pasta sauce consistency, latching on to the noodles perfectly.
Serve on a plate and garnish with some wild garlic.
Wild Garlic pesto Pasta
- Food Processor
Wild Garlic Pesto
- 100 g Wild Garlic
- 1 tbsp Pine Nuts
- 2 cloves Garlic
- 2 tbsp Parmesan Cheese
- 100 ml Olive oil
- 300 g Linguine Pasta
- 2 tbsp Salt
- 3 tbsp Parmesan Cheese grated
- Boil water in a pot, just enough to cook the pasta. Add 2 TBSP of salt. When the water boils, drop the pasta and cook for 15 minutes or 13minutes, 2 minutes before the required cooking time.
- For the pesto, using a food processor, blend the garlic and pine nuts. Add the wild garlic and slowly add in the olive oil. To finish, add the Parmesan cheese and salt to taste. Set aside.
- When the pasta is cooked, drain the pasta water. Place the pasta in a mixing bowl while the pasta is still hot. Add the wild garlic pesto and 3 TBSP of finely grated Parmesan cheese until it forms a good pasta sauce consistency, latching on to the noodles perfectly.
- Plate in a serving plate and garnish with wild garlic.