I hope everyone is enjoying their holidays! We returned after one week in sunny/rainy/chilly southern California to a freezing/sleeting/windy Chicago. Even took our dog with us, who ended up being quite the little champ of a traveler. Despite quite a harrowing landing and take off during our Oklahoma City layover, she never flinched, whimpered or threw up (thank you!).
I wanted to post this recipe before Christmas, but various equipment hiccups while traveling prevented that from happening. So I hope you can use this for your New Year’s Eve party spread! This recipe is ready in less than 20 minutes and makes a large batch which was easily devoured by our party of about 20. It was a big hit with many requests for the recipe!
You’re probably scratching your head about the hemp seed included in this recipe. I’m a huge fan of hemp seeds due to their high quality protein (containing all 9 essential amino acids), omega 3 & 6 fatty acid blend, fiber and its iron, magnesium and zinc content. Plus, because they have a very neutral taste, you can add them to almost anything without changing the flavor. It just ups the nutrition of any dish. And it has a nice, soft bite which I think works really well with pesto served over pasta cooked al dente!
Ingredients (serves 16 – 20)
2 pounds pasta of choice (I used linguine)
3 cups chopped basil (tightly packed)
1 cup pine nuts
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup hemp seeds (shelled)
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped garlic (more or less, to taste)
1 – 2 teaspoons salt (to taste)
1 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta (one package at a time, unless you have a monster-size pot) per package directions. Add some olive oil to the water and stir frequently to prevent pasta from clumping together.
- Place all ingredients, except pasta and sun-dried tomatoes, in a food processor or high speed blender and mix until smooth. Taste and adjust flavors as desired.
- Drain pasta and immediately add the pesto, stirring and pulling pasta so pesto is evenly distributed. Add more olive oil if necessary to keep pasta from sticking and to assist in mixing in the pesto.
- Use the sun-dried tomatoes to mix into the pasta, as well as garnish the top.
- Can be served hot or room temperature. Extra pesto can be frozen in tightly sealed container with a layer of olive oil covering the pesto to prevent browning.