Pasta con Pesto

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Pasta con Pesto would sound a bit simple to make its way into the Royal Recipes series. But, if you’ve seen the rest of the recipe in the series, you see the simplicity most of the recipes have.

As always, I’m starting by talking about the history of the dish. This is not related to the Royal House of Windsor, but it was the favourite recipe of King Michael of Romania. He was born on 25th October 1921 and this is why I’ve made this recipe yesterday. Sadly he died in December last year. He was a very special person and what he managed to do in WW2 was amazing. After that the communists came into power and spread vile rumours about him. If you want to know more, please read my review of a book about him – Michael of Romania by Ivor Porter. Do check that post, I shared a few pictures of the castle Peles, where he was born.

Pasta con Pesto

His daughter, Princess Margareta Custodian of the Crown of Romania (monarchy was abolish when King Michael was forced to abdicate, thus she is not an anointed Queen, unfortunately if you ask me), wrote a cook book. She published the book – Royal Cook Book – many years ago, in 2010. In the book there are some of the recipes King Michael loved and one of those was Pesto con Pasta.
Queen Ana would gladly skipped dessert, while King Michael would prefer something light like caramel ice cream. When it comes to food, both of them used to have a simple meal with only a couple of dishes.

I served my pasta with red wine because this is what I like. After a bit of research, I discovered that his RH would prefer a sweet rose, while Queen Ana would chose red wine.
Among the favourite recipes of King Michael is also New York Cheesecake and Chocolate Mousse. After the King tried Pasta con Pesto, made by Princess Margareta at Verosix for her parents and their guests, the following day he asked for the dish again. I was thinking of making it again today too. It’s so good.

Ingredients for 2 servings of Pasta con Pesto:

– 200 g spaghetti
– 45g fresh basil
– 1 clove of garlic
– 50g pine nuts
– 50 ml extra-virgin Olive oil
– 50g grated extra mature cheddar
– sea salt

Boil the pasta according to the instructions of the packet. I boiled them for 8 minutes, al dente. Drain and rinse in cold water so they don’t continue cooking.

While the water is boiling, you can start preparing the pesto sauce. Put the pine nuts in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat and stir or shake the pan so they don’t burn. Wash the basil leaves, keeping a few small ones for decoration.

Pasta con Pesto. Detail

In the small bowl of the food processor. Alternatively you can use a hand blender. Pour the olive oil, 40g of pine nuts, crushed garlic, sea salt, and basil leaves. Mix until it becomes a paste. Add the grated cheddar and stir with a spoon. Incorporate the pesto sauce into the pasta. Put the spaghetti in the pasta bowls. Decorate by sprinkling the remaining pine nuts on top and the basil leaves.

Have you ever had Pasta con Pesto?

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