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Pasta al pesto is a typical recipe of northern Italy, precisely Liguria, Pesto is a fresh and savoury sauce made with blended or crushed (“pestato” in Italian) basil, garlic, oil, pine nuts and cheese (parmesan and/or pecorino). It is eaten on Italian short pasta, usually trofie or trenette. Potatoes and green beans can be added to enrich the dish.
I do not eat Italian pasta but I have missed pesto from time to time. It has a strong yet balanced taste and it is very different from the traditional tomato sauce that accompanies pasta dishes. When I found by chance a box of fusilli pasta made from 100% lentil flour that did not cost like a mortgage I immediately though about serving it with pesto.
However, lentil flour has a stronger flavour in comparison with wheat flour used for pasta. It tastes – incredible, eh? – like lentils and it makes me think about Indian cuisine. I knew that I had to re-invent the dish so I have tried with an Indian inspired pesto.
I have used cauliflower instead of potatoes and have not added any oil. Pesto can be really greasy and I believe that cheese and nuts in it provide with enough fat and taste. I wanted to use walnuts because I do not like pine nuts but then I saw that I had an opened bag of pistachios… This has been the best ingredient of my pesto because it matches very well with other ingredients and offers a unique taste.
Needless to say, I have loved my pesto, in fact I have already eaten it another time before managing to write this post!
Here are the quantities I have used for two portions:
150g lentil pasta (can be also less or more, depending on your hunger and your macros)
2 vases of basil plants
50g of grated parmisan
50g pistachios or any other nuts (I have heard that cashews taste well too with)
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