California Central Coast Recipes

Classic Basil-Walnut Pesto with Linguine.

This is a great dish- especially in the summer when itís hot and you don't feel like standing over a hot stove and the Basil is especially fragrant.---The only thing you cook is the pasta.

You do need to have a food processor though to pull this off quickly and easily. Please note that I recommend using a little less garlic than most of my cooked recipes call for. Since this is a raw sauce, too much garlic can often cause heartburn.

Both Walnuts or Pine nuts can be used in this recipe. Different regions of Italy favor different nuts. I personally like the walnut-basil combination for a couple reasons: First of all, the walnuts that are sold locally are much more fresh than pine nuts. Walnuts are grown and processed here in California. Walnuts are also cheaper.

The Pine nuts that are sold here are actually gown and processed in China, Spain or Portugal. By the time the product reaches us, they're already getting old. And I have found that when they're roasted prior to cooking they have a slight bitter taste.

I encourage you all to try this recipe using walnuts. You won't be sorry. ©2018, Classic Basil-Walnut Pesto with Linguine.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
re-calculate ingredients for:


The Pesto

1-1/4 cups walnuts
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
1-1/4 cups-plus extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup *grated Parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic minced or crushed
Salt to taste
Few-grinds Black Pepper

The Pasta

1 pound linguine

*Adjust the Parmesan cheese amount to your personal taste.

Preparation Directions.

1 Place basil, garlic and walnuts in a food processor and process 15 seconds. Open lid of processor and scrape down sides. Add a few grinds of freshly cracked black pepper.

2 With machine running, pour oil through feed tube evenly until oil is used up. Stop machine.

3 Open the lid and add the Parmesan cheese. Quickly pulse the processor to mix the ingredients. If the mixture is too dry, add a little more oil and pulse machine to mix.

4 In the meantime, boil water for pasta and cook pasta to desired firmness.

5 Drain the pasta and pour into large serving bowl. With spatula, scrap out pesto mixture and add to the cooked pasta.

6 Mix gently.

7 Serve on individual dinner plates.

Wine and Food Pairing and Serving Suggestions.

Serve with a crisp white wine.

A tip from Sue!

Frying high fat meats

You can cut down on the calories of high-fat meats, by just adding a little water (instead of adding oil) to your frying pan until the meat's fat starts releasing and lubricating the pan, then cook with the frying pan covered. If you want a crispy coating, you uncover the pan or cook with the lid partially ajar.