Monday, May 30, 2011

Fettuccine Pesto + a Trip to the Growers Market

My favourite pasta sauce in the whole wide world is pesto. There are so many different versions so, I thought that I'd add to the growing number and take a stab at making my own. The best herbs to buy are the ones from the farmers markets. They're the freshest coz they've been handled less than the ones you buy from the grocery store. Unfortunately the Village Market at the Entertainment Quarter in Fox Studios (Sydney) had run out of basil, so I had to resort to using the store bought basil, which is fine... I GUESS..

I went to the market with my sister Jaye from Whimsically Divine for the first time, and we were pleasantly surprised! We were immediately enthralled with the cute wicker basket bags and hessian totes that you could buy to put all your purchases. There were enough smells coming from the stalls to make anyone's tummy rumble. We had bought coffees from Gloria Jeans and I regretted because the markets also had a stall that brewed amazing (smelling, coz I couldn't taste it) coffee.. major grrr.

I bought 6 limes for $2. Lime Cheesecake me thinks.. future post! ANYWAY.. we found this stall that were taste testing home made baba ganoush and hummus, which was served with fried pita bread. Both my sister and I fell in love with the fried pita and baba ganoush. We just had to buy it!

For lunch we had Turkish Gozlemes, which was absolute perfection. All in all, a wonderful day at the markets.. now I want a red bicycle with a wicker basket on the front. Where can I get one of those?!

These apples were amazing!! Sweet and Crisp! I just love how there is still the leaves on that one apple. So country!
And these tarts are just to die for! Photos don't do it justice :( I stood there imagining the custard filling in the berry tart just melt in my mouth.

What I did manage to buy there was a good sized wedge of Parmesan cheese. Everything just tastes so much better from a farmers market!!!
Here's my recipe for the pesto that my dad claims tastes better than any other he's tried.. restaurants included!

Fettuccine Pesto


1 cup of tightly packed basil

2 cloves of garlic chopped

1/4 cup pine nuts

1 cup olive oil

1 cup Parmesan Cheese

Salt and ground black pepper

1/2 packet fettuccine
2 Tbs double cream


1. Boil a large pot of water and put in the fettuccine and a pinch of salt, stir occasionally to prevent the fettuccine from sticking to each other. Boil until pasta is al dente (too the tooth - should still be slightly undercooked as pasta continues to cook while off heat.) Drain and leave in pot.

2. Toast the pine nuts in the oven by spreading them over a baking tray and placing them into a 150 degrees Celsius oven for 7 minutes.

3. In a food processor, put basil, cheese garlic, cheese and toasted pine nuts and process until all ingredients are finely chopped.

4. Slowly add in the oil through the drip feed tube. Or if you have a older food process like me (almost 17 years old - and it doesn't have a drip feed tube, just stop processor and add about 2 tablespoons of oil each time, while processing for about 10 seconds, in between each add.) Should start to resemble a pastey texture.

5. Season pesto with a good teaspoon of salt and fresh ground pepper.

6. Combine sauce with the pasta in the pot and stir thoroughly, making sure the pesto covers all the pasta.

7. Add the cream and stir thoroughly.

8. Serve in bowls with some chopped (or whole) basil leaves and a good grating of Parmesan cheese.

This recipe is good for 2 people (if using it as a main, but 4 people if just a starter).

The good thing with pesto is, that you can store it in a air tight jar with a layer of olive oil on the top and it will keep for about a week. :)

This pesto is a sure winner! It's quick and easy and definitely looks quite impressive, especially when you tell people, it's home made pesto, while serving it. Little do they know how EASY it is to make! :)

Enjoy! x

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