Monday, November 3, 2008

Parmesan Linguini with Toasted Pine nuts and Basil

Today's post was supposed to be something crafty, but I am stuck in the middle of what I like to call "midterm hell". Midterms started a few weeks ago, and they just keeping coming at me every week - two or three every seven day period, along with research papers and projects. And sometimes, I just feel like SCREAMING!! And, the sad thing is, there is no relief until December 18th. (Sigh) So, is this happening to anyone else? Some torturous period of life that makes you say to yourself, "I just have to make it through this day..week...month"?

Well, maybe not. And, I can be exceptionally dramatic when I want to - like today. Anyway, the point of all of this ranting is that even when you're overwhelmed you still have a family to feed, right? Or maybe just a Husband? And you need something fast (about 15 minutes) and delicious, with some fresh ingredients? Well, that's where this dish came from, but we like it so much we eat it all the time. And it's great for just getting together with friends too. These are actually all the same ingredients you need for Basil Pesto, just a different application.

16 ounces dried Linguine
1 1/2 cups Fresh Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/3 cup Toasted Pine nuts
3T Basil Chiffonade
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
4T Olive Oil, plus extra for cooking pasta
Kosher Salt
Fresh Ground Black Pepper

Fill a large stock pot with water, add a few pinches of salt (lots of salt in the water please!), drizzle in some olive oil, and set to boil - then add linguine and stir around a few times. Cook linguine according to the instructions on the package. In a separate pot add garlic and 4 T olive oil. Heat gently to infuse garlic flavor 2-3 minutes, but do not let toast or burn, and set aside. Add raw pine nuts to a skillet set over medium heat, toast until golden brown, and set aside.

When the pasta is done, drain in a large colander and let it sit for a minute to cool down. (You want it warm to absorb the oil, but not hot, or the cheese will melt into clumps instead of sticking evenly to the pasta.) Pour into a large bowl, toss with garlic infused oil, add cheese, pine nuts, and basil, and toss to incorporate. It's ready! And, I like some fresh ground pepper on top of mine, which you could try if you like pepper. We also like it served with any rustic loaf of bread, sliced, seasoned with olive oil, salt and pepper, and grilled. This will serve 6 good size portions.


candicerail said...

Yummmm...I looked for your post because I needed a little inspiration. This looks good. I also like the extra advice on WHY you do certain things like infusing the garlic flavor, and having it warm, to absorb the oil, but not hot for the cheese sake. I did not know that.

I am amazed that you are doing all you do while taking so many credits. I do not long for midterm days. They are harder than finals, for, if you have not had the teacher before, you do not know how to study for the test...they all test a little different, and it effects your memorizing techniques.

Anyway, way to do everything and from what we see, do it so beautifully.

Christy Dyer said...

Thank you! I was just asked (by Dan) for a great pasta dish so now I have it! It looks yummy.