Spaghetti al pesto
Very similar to: Recette du Pesto maison
Commentary: It is better to prepare the pesto in advance (1 to 2 hours) so that the flavors have time to develop. However if there is no time, it is still OK to prepare it at the last minute while the pasta is cooking for instance. For the pasta, use the 1, 10, 100 rule: per person, 100 g pasta, in 1 l water with 10 g of salt (possibly a little less).
Using a mortar and pestle is the way to go (but not effortless), but without one, one can chop the ingredient finely with a bit of knife skills. For the basil, it is too tedious to weight just the leaves, so the weight indicated is for basil on its stems, before picking the leaves.
400 g of spaghetti
4 cloves garlic (or 2 if you're not a fan of garlic)
50 g fresh basil leaves (on stems)
Coarse sea salt (2 pinches)
80 g grated Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano
10 g pine nuts (possibly toasted)
70 g EVOO
Use a mortar and pestle or a small food processor or just a knife.
If using a knife:
In a mixing bowl, grate the garlic (fine microplane).
Add the salt, the cheese, the EVOO, and the pepper.
On the cutting board, chop as finely as possible the pine nuts and add to the bowl.
Pick the basil leaves and chop them as finely as possible before adding them to the bowl.
Using the other methods:
Place all elements in the bowl (mortar or food processor) and mash but not too fine.
Let rest a few minutes, but better an hour or two before serving.
Serve with spaghetti, with grated Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano.