Pesto is one of the first ways that I had fresh basil. It was a long, long time ago, but it impressed me so much I never forgot. The flavor was so bright and fresh that I fell in love immediately. One of my favorite parts about the pesto is it’s a quick and easy dinner it only took about 2 minutes to make, and another 10 minutes to cook up the pasta. Hello fantabulous meal in less than 15 minutes!! Plus, it has Speck in it!
If you haven’t had pesto, first of all you need a good shake because you haven’t been living your life to the fullest, and second let me explain a little more about it. Pesto is made with garlic, olive oil, pine nuts or occasionally walnuts, fresh basil, olive oil, parmesan cheese and of course, salt and pepper. A list of simple ingredients, but blend these together they are pure deliciousness.
This pasta dish, since this is Speck week, has crumbled speck on top. It’s fried. It’s smoky. It’s thin. And it is pure heaven. I crisped the speck in a pan and then crumbled it all over the top of the dish. It’s so thin that it crumbles really well, and the added texture to a pasta dish is fantastic.
If you don’t live in Utah, or you’re too far from Caputo’s I would recommend purchasing from Caputo’s Online. If you do live in Utah, just head down to Caputo’s and ask for the Speck. They will wrap some up for you in a jiffy and you can be on your way.
15 Minute Pesto Pasta That Will Change Your Life
2 Tablespoons Pine Nuts
1 Cup, Packed, Sweet Basil
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Fresh, Grated Parmesan Chheese
Sea Salt and Fresh Black Pepper
Speck, cooked and crumbled (or thin bacon if absolutely necessary)*see note above
Heat a large pot of water over high heat, adding a few pinches of salt to season the pasta as it cooks. (If you’re unsure how much taste the water. It should taste slightly salty) Once the water begins to boil add the pasta. Turn the heat down to medium high and continue to cook until al dente (cooked through, not soggy, but a slight bite to it.)
Meanwhile, heat a small skillet to medium heat and add the pine nuts. Cook until toasted and golden on all side, giving the pan a little toss every now and again to help the nuts to toast evenly. You should be able to start smelling the nutty aroma. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
Add the pinenuts, garlic, and fresh basil to a blender or food processor. Process until as smooth as possible. While the blender/processor is running drizzle in the olive oil, processor another 10-20 seconds and place in a bowl. Stir in the parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Set aside.
In a skillet, over medium heat, add the speck in a single layer over the bottom of the pan. Cook until crisp, flip over and crisp the other side. Remove to a plate with a paper towel and allow to drain.
Once the pasta is done, drain and place in a large bowl. Add the pesto and toss until the pasta is evenly coated. Crumble the Speck over the top and add a little extra fresh parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.