How does a beautiful summer evening of homemade pesto sauce and fresh hand-made pasta sound in your backyard? If your answer is ‘AMAZING’ keeper reading for an amazing pesto recipe!

Fresh local ingredients are key!
If you’re living in Vancouver and not growing basil, you need to jump onto the bandwagon (that and mint!). One of my favourite go to summer weekday recipes is fresh pasta and homemade pesto sauce paired with a nice bottle of white wine. If you don’t know already, Saje and Vine is all about supporting local artisans and our favourite local pasta shop is right in Vancouver’s Granville Island market called “Duso’s”. Fresh pasta makes anything multiple times more delicious!

Although purchasing store bought pesto is a slight time saver, making your own allows you to control the ingredients and have fun with them. Not to mention, fresh pesto definitely tastes much more flavourful (and knowing you made it yourself with your own ingredients, makes it that much better!). Did you know that fresh pesto is loaded with antioxidants, calcium and iron? It is a much healthier alternative to creamy pasta sauces and more store bought products.

The main ingredients
Pestop originates from the city of Genoa, the capital city of Liguria in Italy. Traditionally, pesto is an italian sauce made with basil, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil and Parmigiano-Reggiano. These ingredients are blended together to create a thick puree which serves as a sauce when heated up.

My recipe uses the following ingredients:

  • Fresh picked basil
  • Fire Roasted Garlic (Roasting your garlic makes a big difference!)
  • Pine nuts (I like to roast these slightly as well)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Pecorino Romano
  • Salt and Pepper

All you need to do is blend these together! You can add more or less of any of these ingredients based on your taste preferences. AND there you have it! A beautiful pesto sauce ready to be served! Boil your pasta for a few minutes and drizzle some olive oil and pesto and top it all off with some pecorino! This is actually such an easy & super fun dinner! This is a classic dinner choice for a date night, casual dinner party or just yourself to enjoy.

Take it up a notch:
If you want to elevate this simple recipe, consider adding some protein to your pasta. My favourite method is to add some seafood; seared scallops and fully-cooked medium sized shrimp. I sear my scallops for a few minutes on each side with some garlic, butter and some wine, then I add my shrimp and let it absorb the sauce before adding in my pasta. And there you have it! An elevated seafood pesto pasta for your evening!

Wine Pairing suggestions:
Going for the peso & pasta dinner? I would recommend going for something like a sauvignon blanc or grüner veltliner. However, with the added seafood, I would go with an oaked chardonnay.

Saijal Patel

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