Store bought pesto is alright, not too bad but only until you have tasted the freshly home made pesto. Once in a while I do convince myself and try the store ones but after that meal, I get back to the slow food way. And the thing is its really super simple to make. Here is what you will need for a serving for 3-4 people.
A big bunch of fresh parsley, washed & plucked
3 cloves of garlic
1 green chili (as per choice)
8-10 black pepper corns
a big squeeze of lemon juice
a big glog of extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp of sea salt
handful of pine nuts
about 3-4 tbsp of pasta water
2 tbsp of parmesan cheese
Boil the pasta of your choice according to the directions, I took spaghetti here.
Save a cup of pasta water, but take the water from the pasta, just when you are draining the pasta.
Although the recipe is quite simple but it becomes a bit tricky and a tiny bit hectic as you have to use the pasta water to make the pesto and then you want to serve it right away, thats how pasta works. but its not too bad if you have prepared everything else before hand and you have a good mixer.
Dump everything in the mixer jar except cheese, make a paste out of it but not super fine, keep a bit grain to it.
Now add the cheese and blitz again quickly, I dont prefer to add the cheese to the other ingredients along with the hot pasta water, but you can also do that if you wish.
Add the pesto to the pasta, mix it all well and if you think its a bit thick then add the remaining water we kept from the cooked pasta or if you fancy a bit more olive oil wont hurt either.
Try it for salt, and if something is missing do add it to the whole pasta and mix well.
If its a bit weak in heat then I always add a big pinch of red chili flakes for that extra kick in the winter.
Add some more cheese on the top and a fresh parsley leave and voila
Enjoy. A simple grated carrot salad goes very well with this.
Tip: To make a vegan pasta, avoid the cheese and add a bit more nuts.