Pesto alla Genovese

Pesto alla Genovese is a classic pesto made from pine nuts, basil, a bit of cheese and olive oil. It is really easy to make and tastes best with fresh basil. You can use it for pasta or as a base for pizza.

Freshly made from basil leaves and pine nuts.

Ingredients

(makes about 400 ml / 400 g of pesto, i.e. about 2 servings)

  • 80-100 g pine nuts
  • 30 g fresh basil
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 120-130 ml olive oil
  • 90 g pecorino cheese
  • salt, pepper

How to Make It

  • Roast the pine nuts in a pan until they are golden brown. Do not use any oil.
  • Wash the basil leaves.
  • Peel the cloves of garlic and cut them into slices.
  • Blend the pine nuts, the basil, and the garlic until you have a chunky paste. Please be aware that the more pine nuts you use, the stronger the nutty flavor will be. If you are unsure whether you like that, start out with less pine nuts and slowly add more as you go until you have reached the flavor you like.
  • Add about 80 ml of the olive oil and blend everything thoroughly.
  • Add the cheese and at least a teaspoon of salt and freshly ground pepper each.
  • Blend again and add more olive oil until you reach the desired consistency.
  • Taste it and add more spices if necessary. Let the pesto rest for 30 minutes and taste again. You may have to add a bit more salt then.
  • You can freeze the pesto if you want or store it in the fridge in an air-tight container for 3-5 days. Make sure to pour a layer of olive oil on top, though.

Spaetzle and Veggie Mix

Have you heard about spaetzle? It is a complicated word but refers to a very delicious type of food: a type of pasta typical for the South Germany, especially the region of Swabia. Spaetzle are made with fresh eggs and are therefore softer than the classic Italian pasta you are already familiar with.

The classic Swabian way to eat spaetzle is arguably as “Kässpätzle”, so spaetzle with melted cheese. The recipe below is my attempt to give this traditional dish a bit of a spin by adding fresh veggies to it.

Great with a glass of white wine.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium-sized onion
  • 8-9 green asparagus spears
  • 5-6 tomatoes
  • 125 g fresh spinach
  • 500 g spaetzle (pre-packaged from the supermarket)
  • grated pecorino as to your liking
  • salt, pepper, and any other spices or herbs you feel like

How to Make It

  • Peel the onion and chop it into thin pieces.
  • Fry the onion pieces with a bit of olive oil in a pan.
  • Wash the asparagus spears. Take a potato or asparagus peeler and peel the lower third of the spears. Cut off the dry ends. Chop the spears into pieces.
  • Add the asparagus pieces to the pan and fry them for a bit. You may have to add a bit more oil.
  • Wash the tomatoes and cut them into pieces.
  • Add the tomatoes to the mix and fry everything for a few minutes.
  • Wash the spinach leaves and add them to the pan.
  • Add the spaetzle.
  • Carefully mix and fry everything. Add the spices and herbs.
  • As you serve the spaetzle, you can sprinkle some grated pecorino cheese on top.

Spaghetti Carbonara

I am a big pasta fan and spaghetti carbonara is one of my comfort foods, especially when my husband cooks it. The creamy sauce contains a lot of “delicious points” and makes (almost) everything seem better straight away. We always have it with a nice glass of white wine, too.

Happy Sunday dinner.

Ingredients

(enough for 3 people)

  • 2 onions (1 red, 1 white)
  • 300 g chanterelles (we used frozen ones)
  • 150 g diced bacon
  • 600 g cream
  • 200 g sour cream
  • 275 g spaghetti (we used spaghetti made from wholegrain spelt)
  • 3 eggs (1 per person)

How to Make It

  • Peel the onions and chop them into pieces.
  • Sauté them in a pan with a bit of olive oil.
  • Add the chanterelles and fry them as well.
  • Add the diced bacon and fry it as well.
  • Add salt, pepper, and any other herbs you like. We used fresh parsley.
  • Lower the heat and add the cream and the sour cream. Let the sauce simmer, stir occasionally.
  • Boil water and cook the spaghetti according to instructions.
  • Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl until they are fluffy.
  • Once the pasta is done, drain it thoroughly and return it to the pot. Pour the eggs onto the pasta and mix it all. Make sure to be quick about it so that the egg does not solidify in chunks.
  • Pour the pasta into the sauce and stir it.
  • Serve and enjoy.