When I don't have quite enough fresh basil for a batch of pasta, I turn to baby spinach. The basil flavor carries through and the spinach makes it bright green. Seeds substitute for pine nuts or other nuts. Toss this with your favorite pasta shape, adding in seasonal vegetables to your liking.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until nearly al dente.
Meanwhile, make the pasta using an immersion blender by combining the garlic, seeds, spinach, basil, salt and olive oil in the beaker. Put the blender stick as far to the bottom as you can, then blend up and down until combined and smooth.
To use a food processor, purée the garlic and seeds. Add spinach and basil and pulse to chop. Add oil in a stream with the machine running until smooth.
When the pasta is a few minutes from done, add the snow peas, if using, to the pot to blanch them for 1 minute. Scoop them from the pot with a small strainer into a serving bowl and then drain the pasta and add it to the bowl.
Toss the snow peas and pasta with as much of the prepared pesto as you like. Taste for seasoning and add parmesan cheese if desired. Store any extra pesto in a mason jar or sealed container in the refrigerator.
Copyright 2021 Lynne Curry