Thursday, February 11, 2010

Fresh Pesto with Pasta and Crab



This is one of my favorite dishes. It's super easy. Of course, using good basil is key to making this pesto. You may omit the parsley if you don't like it. I do. I think it adds a nice freshness that compliments the basil.

I recommend this dish for pot-luck parties and picnics because you could keep the crab out separately (in the cooler) and add it to the pasta right before serving, if keeping the whole bowl cool is an issue.

I could envision cooking the garlic first to reduce its pungency. I would probably mince it and sautee in the olive oil 1-2 minutes before adding it to the processor.

Ingredients
2 cups basil leaves, large stems removed
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, large stems removed
1 clove garlic, peeled
3 Tablespoons pine nuts
3 oz. real Parmesan cheese, from a wedge or block, *NOT KRAFT*
1/3 to 1/2 cup olive oil
12 oz crab, imitation or real if available
8 oz tri-color rotini
salt to taste

Method
1. Boil rotini according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.



2. Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine pine nuts, basil, garlic, parsley, and cheese. Whirl a few times. Scrap sides and whirl until texture is uniformly grainy.



3. Drizzle olive oil into herbs with processor running to make a paste.



4. Taste test and add salt, if desired. This will make 6-8 oz. of pesto.

5. Add pesto and crab to drained pasta and toss.



6. Serve room temperature for best flavor.