I'm very happy that olive oil is good for you, because I use it every day. Seriously. What's coursing through my veins now is, no doubt, three parts blood, one part Bertolli.
Last night, I was inspired by a tweet by Sara Jenkins of New York's own Porchetta.
@porchettanyc: Tasting pasta w/ "sauce" of olive oil, parmigiana, fennel pollen and crushed Sicilian chilies.
She attached this tasty picture:
I couldn't get that olive oil based sauce out of my head. And although I didn't have fennel or chilies, I did have basil and garlic. So here's a loose idea of what I came up with:
(a type of) Pesto Sauce
about one serving
Nuts, a handful (obviously pine is preferred, but I used almonds... it's all about texture)
Two cloves of garlic, chopped
Parmigiano-Reggiano, a few ounces broken into chunks
Basil, four or five leaves
Toast the nuts in olive oil in the oven on 350 degrees for 7 to 10 minutes. Set aside.
Heat the garlic with two to three tablespoons of olive oil on medium low until fragrant. Meanwhile, boil your pasta as directed.
Put nuts, basil, parmigiano, a dash of salt and the garlic oil in a food processor. Pulse until well blended, yet grainy.
Drain pasta, then toss in the pesto sauce.
This was so good that I didn't want to waste the oil after I ate all the pasta. I toasted a piece of my roommate's rosemary bread and sopped up the rest. As I wiped the rim of the bowl with my bread, I said, "Why is everything so right with my life right now?"
So give it a whirl and improvise as always. This couldn't have taken more than 25 minutes from conception to the first bite.
And thanks to Sara of Porchetta for the inspiration.