Prep 30 mins
Cook 15 mins
Straightforward preparation; use the freshest, most aromatic basil leaves.
- 3 cups gently packed young tender basil leaves
- 1⁄2-3⁄4 cup light-flavored extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts
- 1⁄2 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
- 1⁄4 cup freshly grated pecorino romano cheese
- sea salt
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 -2 tablespoon whole milk
- 1 lb dried linguine
- About 1 hour before you make the pesto, wash the basil in cold water; wrap in paper towels and refrigerate (this will help to prevent the sauce from heating up in the machine).
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Set up the blender or food processor; add the basil, ½ cup olive oil, garlic, and nuts to the blender or processor; whirl to a thick paste; add more oil if necessary.
- Transfer to a mixing bowl and first stir in the cheeses, then taste to determine how much salt to add.
- In another bowl, work the butter with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula as if creaming it for a cake.
- When it is very soft and smooth but not at all melted, fold it into the pesto with the milk; set aside at room temperature while you cook the pasta.
- Generously salt the boiling water and drop in the pasta.
- Cook, stirring often, until al dente.
- Reserve about ½ cup pasta water; drain the pasta without shaking it bone-dry.
- Transfer the pasta to a warmed serving bowl and nap it with the pesto; toss gently, add a little of the pasta water, a tablespoon at a time, to loosen the sauce.
- Pass any remaining pesto at the table along with some extra grated cheese; serve at once.