Spaghetti al Pesto

Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.
- Sophia Loren

I'm back! I've spent some wonderful time with my significant other and we cooked quite a lot. Unfortunately, there was no time to take pictures since everything vanished instantly, but don't despair. Today's recipe has been specifically requested by someone who has discovered the joys of pesto through Kitchen Witchcraft and asked for more recipes with it. (Incidentally, if You would like to contact me, write at
So we'll be seeing more of this gourmet green goodness.
  • Spaghetti no. 5 - suit Yourself. Again, tagliatelle, maccaroni or fettucine can be used as well.
  • Onions - half an onion per person.  This sauce needs less onion than napoli, but of course do as You will.
  • Tomatoes - two per person. If big, take one.
  • Pesto - three teaspoons per person.
  • Garlic - optional, pesto has quite a distinctive taste and should be strong enough.
  • Grated cheese - pesto contains it already, but there is no harm in adding some. A smaller amount than usual will generally suffice.
  • Olive oil - just enough to cook the onions, since pesto will add some as well.

Pesto is waiting to be mixed in.
This pasta sauce is prepared in exactly the same way as napoli sauce, with pesto added towards the end. So prepare a pot of water for spaghetti. Dice the onions thinly and put them on a frying pan (or a saucepan if You prefer it). Pour some olive oil and let the onions fry over medium heat. Be careful not to let them turn brown as this changes the taste. When the onions have a yellow, semi-transparent look, they are ready. If the water is not boiling yet, take the onions off the heat as the next ingredient to be added are the tomatoes and they need to be peeled.
As You wait for the water to boil You can grate the cheese, chop the garlic and do all that needs doing. Once the water is boiling, put the tomatoes in and count to five. Take them out and peel them - the boiling water will make the skin go off easily. Dice the tomatoes and add them to the onions. You can turn up the heat now so that the sauce thickens faster.
Put the pasta in the pot. As You wait for it to boil, remember to stir from time to time so that it doesn't stick to the bottom. Pay attention to the sauce and keep mixing it as it thickens, but don't let it get too dry : some juice will be needed to absorb the pesto and let it mix smoothly. If You are adding garlic, do it now.
Once the tomato sauce reaches a satisfying density, add pesto and mix thoroughly. You can season the sauce with some oregano or basil, but it won't be necessary.

This recipe should result in a grainy sauce that sticks to the pasta. The resulting colour will be brown-ish, and that's how it should be. The taste, depending on how much pesto You add, is either stronger, suitable for dry, red wine, or fresh and light, calling for white wine. It's all down to the tomatoes-to-pesto proportion.

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