{Dine in: Homemade basil pesto inspires a pasta dish}

This past weekend I went to the Calgary Farmer’s Market. Here were my purchases:

Lovely cherry tomatoes, fresh mint and basil, cucumber (mini and large one for juicing), juicy apricots.

Why buy pesto when you can make it at home. It’s SOO easy to make and tastes so much better than any store-bought stuff, plus you can make it anyway you like it.

Easy Peasy Basil Pesto

I don’t normally measure unless I’m baking, so here are some rough measurements:

  • 1 bag of basil (couple handfuls)
  • 1/2 organic walnuts
  • 1/4 c parmesan cheese
  • enough olive oil to allow pesto to come together

Mix the first three ingredients up in your food processor, add olive oil 1T at a time till its smooth. I then spoon the mixture into a silicon mini muffin pan and freeze them overnight. The next day, I pop them out and put them in a freezer bag so I can add the pesto to recipes as I please.

When I’m ready to use them, I pop them into a dish and into the microwave for about 25 sec to get this. Be creative, sub in pine nuts, cashews or pumpkin seeds for the nut component. Yum..

Now onto dinner. I had a craving for pasta and my new favourite has been Bucatini, kind of like a spaghetti but with a hole in the centre which adds a great “bite” to the pasta. I got mine at Bite Groceteria in Inglewood.

Next, chop up some veggies: I used some red, yellow, orange and green pepper. I also added some onion and garlic and sundried tomatoes and fresh cherry tomatoes.

Cook up your garlic and onion in a pan with some olive oil till caramelized. Add your chopped veg and cook for a couple min. Season with salt and pepper. Add your cooked pasta and some reserved pasta water. Sprinkle some crumbled feta and torn up mozzarella cheese.

I added my “Les Herbes Salees” – a mixture of salted herbs mixed with minced celery, onion, carrot, parsnip and leeks. Great added to soups, fish or meat dishes too. I also added some ground pink peppercorns for some kick.

Take off the heat when the cheese has incorporated and melted with the pasta water and serve. Bon Appetit!

Feel free to use whatever is in your fridge. I made mine with veggies, but I added some shredded leftover chicken to the boy’s bowl. A dish to please everyone.

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