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Trenette al Pesto

A fantastically versatile condiment, pesto is great to make as it keeps for ages

Posted: 20 September 2011
by Junior

In the book Zilli Light (Simon & Schuster, £20) Italian chef Aldo Zilli offers the delicious tastes of his homeland but in lighter bites, working on the premise that we eat five lighter meals per day instead of three. Highlights include roast duck with Parma ham and this great pesto. 

Trenette al Pesto

If you can’t get trenette pasta, use linguine or tagliatelle instead.

Serves 4


200g (7oz) fresh basil
2 garlic cloves
20g (3/4oz) pine nuts, toasted
50g (13/4) Parmesan, grated
50g (13/4) pecorino, grated
30g (1oz) sun-dried tomatoes in oil
100ml (31/2oz) extra virgin olive oil
400g (14oz) trenette pasta


Wipe the basil leaves with a damp cloth and place in a mortar or food processor. Add the garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan, pecorino and sun-dried tomatoes and start to blend in the food processor or pound in pestle and mortar. Slowly add the olive oil and, with the machine running, if using, continue to blend until you have a paste.

Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the packet instructions until al dente. Drain the pesto and mix the pasta and pesto sauce together. Return the pan to the hob and heat quickly, then serve immediately.

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