Saturday, April 9, 2011

Simplest Pesto Sauce Ever

Welcome to the new look of the Novice Goddess Kitchen! I felt that since it's been about a year now since I started the blog that maybe it was time for a little facelift. I have to tell you that I am in love with its new look! I hope you enjoy it!!! 

As a bit of a new phase of the blog, I want to let you guys know that the Recipe Index of the Novice Goddess' Kitchen is officially up-to-date. And on that note, I'd like to add a new recipe to it right now! 

This afternoon, Mum and I were having a lazy day at home (those really are the BEST!) and the usual Saturday afternoon question came up... "What should we have for lunch?" Now, my thoughts were that I wanted something simple yet satisfying especially since it was late in the afternoon but still too early for dinner. We had a package of tortellini in the fridge (I haven't gotten around to making my own yet, but it will happen, I promise!) and some tomato sauce. BUT right before I opened the tomatoes, I realized that I was more in the mood for a pesto-type sauce. Naturally, our fridge was completely devoid of any pesto. I've seen Chef Michael Smith make a pesto on the Food Network where he substitutes different herbs and such to make a delicious sauce. If you'd like to check out his basic basil pesto recipe, click here.

After looking around our kitchen, I managed to clip some basil leaves from our plant that sits on the kitchen counter along with some lemon thyme (I adore lemon thyme!!!). As I was tearing up the leaves into our mini chopper, I realized that since the lemon thyme provided a bit of a lemony flavour that maybe I should enhance it a bit more but adding in a bit of lemon zest too! We were out of pine nuts, so instead I substituted some unsalted cashews, grated some pamigiano reggiano and salt and pepper. I topped it off with a few tablespoons of olive oil and set the mini chopper ablaze! 
How can you not love this pesto already? I adore the fact that it's so simple and just so fresh looking! My love for it may also have something to with with actually picking the fresh basil and lemon thyme! I found that after I blended it for about 10 seconds that it was a little too dry for my liking so I added a bit more olive oil and cheese. Once the mini chopper has worked its magic, you should have something that looks like this:

I had to show both exposures for the simple fact that the texture here is what's important. If you want a perfectly smooth and creamy pesto, you probably will want to pulverize yours more in the chopper. I like mine a little texture-y and I liked that I could actually still taste and feel some of the chopped nuts when I was eating it. Once your sauce is made, simply pour it over some hot pasta and serve - don't forget to top it off with some more grated cheese! 

Novice Goddess' Lemon Basil Pesto 
Yields: 1/2 cup of pesto (enough for one regular sized package of tortellini)

In a mini chopper/food processor, toss in: 

  • 1/4 cup of fresh basil leaves
  • 3-5 sprigs of lemon thyme
  • 1 1/2 tsp of freshly grated lemon zest
  • 3 tbsp freshly grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3-4 tbsp olive oil. 
  • 1/3 cup unsalted cashews 
Mix in the chopper/food processor until well combined. If the pesto is too dry, add a bit more olive oil. Serve over hot, freshly drained pasta and top with a bit more grated parmigiano cheese. Voila! 

Happy Saturday and happy cooking! 



  1. Looks very yummy !!!!! Fast and easy recipe great for us Mothers who are often on the go. I love it because it can be used on pasta or meat !!

  2. Me again.....just have to say that love the new look of your blog :)