Pesto is a great standard. It’s simple to make and always tastes good. The color is so fantastic I can usually connect it with some cartoon character and the kids will eat it. Sometimes it’s Shrek Pasta, the other night it was Green Lantern Spaghetti. You could also call it The Little Mermaid Spaghetti. I make up names for their food all the time to help make it more familiar. I made this in Kauai—I served the kids a pesto pasta and added grilled fish for the adults. It was delicious. Oh, and I topped it with pine nuts and a bit of parmesan. Obviously, you can also serve fish to your kids too!
1 16-ounce package of spaghetti
1 cup toasted pine nuts, a small amount reserved for garnish
4 cloves garlic
2 cups basil leaves, washed, one reserved for garnish
½ cup parmesan cheese (optional), plus a small amount reserved for garnish
½ cup olive oil
½ cup vegetable stock or water
salt and pepper
Boil water and cook the pasta. Meanwhile, toast the pine nuts in a frying pan with a pinch of salt. When they turn lightly brown put them in a blender with the garlic, basil, parmesan cheese and olive oil. Add a ¼ cup of vegetable stock or water and blend until smooth. You may need to add a bit more stock or water to get the consistency that you like. Add plenty of salt and pepper to taste. Serve topped with toasted pine nuts, a basil leaf and parmesan cheese.
Originally featured in Tamra Davis