Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Michael makes Pesto for a Presto Pesto Pasta

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

I've always believed in that saying and I try and put it into practice with the kids. I always like to teach them how to do something so that they learn how to do it themselves - instead of always doing it for them.

The same thing applies in the kitchen. It's no point always cooking good food for them if they never learn how easy it actually is to cook! That's one of the reasons why I've always encouraged my children to help out in the kitchen and both of them are more than happy to help. I'm slowly trying to get them to do more things in the kitchen on their own in the hope that one day they will be able to manage themselves in the kitchen and maybe cook a little something for us on their own.

A few posts back, Sarah helped me out with a batch of Choc Chip Banana Muffins and in fact, since she did most of the work, I gave her all the credit for it!

This time, Michael wanted to help me make a pesto as The Lovely Wife (or in this case, The Beloved Mother!) wanted a pesto pasta for lunch. This is the step by step of Michael making the pesto - with just a little help from me.

We used Cashew Nuts instead of pine nuts. After weiging out the nuts, the first thing with Cashews, as I learnt from MY Mother, is to always break them in half to check for sand, mites or any other foreign object. Get your sister to help out too!

Next, wash the basil leaves and place them in a colander to shake the water dry. Get the nuts and the basil leaves ready.

Get the food processor out and place it together with the basil leaves, nuts, olive oil and cheese on a table.
Yes, we forgot the garlic but more on that later...

Process the Basil leaves into a nice smooth paste.

Add in the nuts and process till smooth. Some people like the pesto a bit chunky so process it however fine you want it.

Oopps!! This is where I realised that we had forgotten the garlic. No matter, add it in as everything is going to be whizzed up anyway!

Next, Add in the cheese and process together. The mixture will get a little thick at this stage. Use a good quality cheese like Pecorino or parmesan although cheddar works as well.

Next, Add in the olive oil, a little at at time till the pesto forms a nice paste. The more oil you add, the thinner the paste - again, a matter of choice.

Finally, add some salt, dip you finger in, scoop up a little bit and taste it, adding more salt as required!

Hey Presto! Here's your Pesto!

3 Cloves Garlic
50g Sweet Basil Leaves
100g Cashew nuts
100g good quality cheese - grated
Olive Oil

Blend everything up together in a food processor, adding the oil a little at a time at the end till the right consistency is achieved. The consistency is basically up to you.

To make a Pesto Pasta, boil your pasta of choice till Al Dente, then drain and toss together with your pesto. Again, how much you want to use is all a matter of taste.

I whipped up some meatballs to serve together with the Pesto Pasta for a little more body. The Lovely Wife however, preferred to have it just with some sliced cherry tomatoes. Did I mention she loves Pesto??!!

Michael was very proud of himself and so was I! As usual after eating, both kids thanked us for the meal. This is when I quipped, "Thank yourself! You made the pasta!"

You should have seen him beam!

Michael is proudly bringing this pasta over to Aqua from Served with Love who is hosting Presto Pasta Nights this week. Presto Pasta Nights is the brainchild of my friend Ruth over at Once upon a feast

I hope you not only enjoy this dish as much as we did but have just as much fun in the kitchen making it! Remember, kids are never to young to help out in the kitchen and cooking with kids is such good fun!


Bellini Valli said...

Michael's very first event in the blogosphere. The kids will be starting their own blog soon:D I agree with the Lovely Wife and pesto finds it's way into many of our dishes!!

Ruth Daniels said...

Michael (and Dad) what a great job! Thanks so much for sharing with Presto Pasta Night. You can come back any time.

aquadaze said...

Hey Michael, thanks for sharing this with PPN!
Dharam, totally agree with you, it is great to get them started young in good food habits.

Cynthia said...

Your kids win my heart every time I visit.

Ju (The Little Teochew) said...

Michael is fantastic! Move aside, Jamie Oliver (or whoever is the chef du jour). Here comes competition.

Foodycat said...

That looks absolutely delicious! Pesto is my favourite. Well done Michael!

Dharm - lardons are little chunks of bacon, rather than lard.

Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said...

You do a great job parenting your kids and I think it's just as important for boys to learn how to cook as girls-everyone eats! :D

Anonymous said...

Michael did a terrific job with the pesto pasta! Excellent!

Rose&Thorn said...

Well done Michael - do you do take aways yet? Need a delivery to Cape Town. Lovely, you have done a great job.

The Food Hunter said...

I'll take some please!

cutting said...

I like that...Dad teaching kids to cook...wish my girls were ready to learn!

Joanne said...

Definitely agree with you! My kids are going to be involved with cooking practically from conception. That pesto looks gorgeous!

Elle said...

Way to go Michael! Great pesto and the start of a great kitchen journey. It looks delicious!!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

What a smart dad you are to teach your kids to be fearless in the kitchen. That's a great picture of Michael - I love his proud grin!

Su-yin said...

This is such a cute post! :) I have actually never made my own pesto, come to think of it..

Glad to have discovered your blog. Yay for Malaysian food bloggers!

Dee said...

I love that shot of Michael beaming! Eli likes to help in the kitchen. Especially if it involves flour... on the flour, in my hair, in his hair... and chocolate. I think it's great that you've inspired your kids to cook!


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