PESTO PASTA WITH HOMEMADE SAUCE OF FRESH BASIL – LETTUCE – TOASTED WALNUTS – PARMESAN – MINCED GARLIC – EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

For 4:

–pasta (bowtie (farfalle), 2 cups, dry)

–basil (fresh)

–lettuce

–walnuts (toasted, 1 handful)

–extra virgin olive oil (bottled)

–Parmesan cheese (shredded)

–garlic (minced, in a jar)

–salt and pepper

1 – Place 2 cups of farfalle pasta in an uncovered baking dish with a little salt and water to cover, above 1 inch.  Microwave on high for 6 minutes; then microwave on 50 percent power for 10 minutes.  When finished, keep covered to preserve warmth.

2 – Microwave 2 cups of water on high for 6 minutes (until boiling).  Add 1 handful of fresh basil, and microwave for just 5 seconds (yes, seconds).  Immediately plunge the basil in a bowl of ice water.  Repeat with 2 handfuls of chopped lettuce.

3 – Remove the basil and lettuce from the ice water, and, with paper towels, squeeze out the water.  Then place in a food processor.

4 – Add to the food processor, the following:  2 handfuls of toasted walnuts, 1 tablespoon of minced garlic, one-half cup of extra virgin olive oil, one-fourth cup of Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper to taste.  Pulse until smooth.  If too thick a sauce, add more olive oil.

5 – Drain the pasta, and add the sauce to it, stirring well.  Pasta will be room temperature when served.

–pesto adapted from Real Simple magazine.