It’s not always restaurants get pesto right. Not that they don’t know how to do it – because it’s pretty straight forward. But it’s probably because restaurants here are used to making pasta ‘sauces’ quite creamy. So they add a load of cream in their pesto and call it ‘pesto sauce’. That’s certainly not how I like my pesto. There’s nothing snobbish about it. Basil tastes great when it’s not cooked and diluted with cream. Just some cooked pasta tossed in pesto enough to coat it is perfect.
Remember the amaranth and basil pesto I made? I tossed some spaghetti in it and threw in some roasted cherry tomatoes. It was SO good! I’m not a fan of heavy pasta sauces loaded with cream or cheese or both. I find it takes away everything from the sauce and makes it bland without any flavour. Feel free to add it if you like it that way though. This one doesn’t have any.
For twenty rupees I got myself a relatively big bunch of amaranth leaves. No, inspiration didn’t hit me like a wave or anything to make pesto out of it. It was only because I didn’t know what else to do with leftover leaves after making upkari out of most of them. This amaranth and basil pesto though turned out to be pretty damn good – texture and taste wise. I didn’t add any cheese though, because I didn’t have any.
Amaranth leaves – 2 cups chopped
Basil leaves – 1 cup
Cashew nuts – handful
Olive oil – 1/4 cup
Salt to taste
Blitz all ingredients in a blender till smooth or rough paste.
Toss pasta in it or even as a sandwich spread.