You know what I miss having? A huge bowl of spaghetti twirled with fresh pesto on a late summer night.
It’s definitely possible to make a batch of pesto in the winter, but there’s something not so appealing about the packaged basil in grocery stores these days, and it seems to go bad so quickly that I barely ever get the chance. Also, pine nuts are insanely expensive, and they’re a crucial ingredient.
My friend Shannon was telling me about a pesto trick she learned from a cooking class she took in Tuscany: instead of basil, you sub in arugula, and instead of pine nuts, you use walnuts. Everything else stays the same — the garlic, parmesan, salt, and olive oil, but you are saved a few bucks and it’s winter friendly. She said it was delicious, and I imagine the arugula gives it a little kick. I had leftover pasta for lunch, so I’m not letting myself make this tonight, but I can’t wait to try it.
Pasta image via Culinary Covers, photo of Tuscany by Shannon Hoy.