Basil pesto is one of those fall-back security blanket kind of classic sauces, a dish you know will go over swimmingly with whatever audience you have in front of you, all ages, all palates, all dietary needs. Adjustable to suit whatever and whoever you've got in front of you - you can add or take out or substitute just about anything here, salvo basil and pasta ingredients. Here's a pro-menu planning tip: make a large batch of our Basil Pesto recipe when your basil is blossoming, and freeze until your time of need.
A perfect option for a quick lunch recipe when you're pressed for time, especially if you've made this sauce before. You might want to keep a batch of Pesto on hand all the time, for a quick dollop into a minestrone, a toss with cooked beans to put on top of toasted bread, or a sauce as easy to prepare as boiling water and cooking pasta.
Very few, if any, will turn down a plate of gorgeous fresh Basil Pesto with handmade Trofie pasta, as our customized recipe helps you prepare. A traditional favorite fresh pasta recipe in the Northern Italian coastal region of Liguria, your loved ones will thank you for preparing this gorgeous treat for them - it will be our secret that it's actually a lot easier than it looks!
Prepare the trofie pasta dough
In a medium mixing bowl, combine semola flour and warm or tepid water. Energetically blend two ingredients together, and if your dough is too soft and sticky, add more semola a little bit at a time until you arrive at a soft, flexible dough that doesn't stick to your spoon as you mix.
Knead in your bowl for between 3-4 minutes. Shape into a small round, place in plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for 20-30 minutes.
Shape the trofie and prepare for cooking
Place wooden working board onto table where you'll be preparing your pasta. Unwrap dough from plastic wrap, and cut a small piece off to work with, leaving the remainder covered with plastic to avoid dough from drying out.
Roll cut piece of dough out into a long-ish dough snake approximately 1cm wide. Using a sharp knife, cut your snake into smaller pieces 1cm long (maximum length, otherwise shapes are too long).
Keeping your hand open, use the edge of your palm to roll each small piece of dough diagonally across your wooden working board, to create your spiral shape. Your dough should curl up on itself, creating a beautliful spiral shape.
If you're not able to make your dough run smoothly across the board, be sure you don't have too much semola flour present - this will prevent your dough from rolling out smoothly. Once shapes have been made, place onto semola-dusted tray while you complete the process with the remaining dough.
Repeat the process with entire ball of Trofie pasta dough, very lightly dusting your complete trofie shapes with semola to be sure they don't stick to each other. When putting on semola-dusted tray, be sure to leave space between each trofie.
Prepare the Ligurian basil pesto sauce
Grate Parmesan and Pecorino cheese and set aside. You can grate both cheeses into same medium mixing bowl.
Finely mince pine nuts and blend with Parmesan and Pecorino Romano cheeses. Add half the extra-virgin olive oil to the cheese and Pine nut mixture and continue blending on low speed. Add basil leaves and a pinch of coarse salt, and blend, adding remaining olive oil. Stop blending when your sauce has reached your desired consistency, whch should be well-mixed and not overly creamy.
A note regarding equipment and ingredient temperatures: If you're using a blender or an immersion mixer, Chef Michele recommends refrigerating all the Basil Pesto ingredients prior to preparation, including your extra-virgin olive oil, and the blades of your blender or immersion mixer (if possible). This will help maintain the cooler temperature of your ingredients and avoid your sauce's oxidation (changing color) throughout your preparation process.
Cook the trofie and finish dish
Bring large pot of salted water to boil, and add shaped trofie pasta.
Cook for 3-4 minutes, and drain. Add to large bowl where you've placed prepared basil pesto sauce, and blend trofie with pesto until all pieces are well-seasoned and covered with pesto.
Place trofie into individual serving dishes and dust with additional grated Parmesan cheese if you like. Serve promptly.
20 minutes 8 ingredients 338 kCal