Before trying some of the numerous pesto recipes in this book, I never realized how easy it is to make! I am now beginning to look at pesto-tossed pasta as an option for those times I need to throw a quick meal together. The "Fettuccine with Puttanesca Pesto" (page 202) puts a slight spin on the traditional basil, pine nuts, and garlic combo by adding tomatoes, green olives, and capers (that's the Puttanesca part) to the blend. As far as I'm concerned, this combination was a stroke of genius by the author, who needed to come up with a way to use her bumper crop of basil. The complex flavors are deeply satisfying, and I’ll be making this unique version of pesto often. I completely left out the 1/3 cup of olive oil (and the accompanying 71 grams of fat!) by using a bit of light veggie broth to thin down the pesto. I found I didn't need much, maybe only a couple of tablespoons, as the tomatoes added a lot of liquid. I also didn't need to add any additional cooking water from the pasta (as the recipes calls for) to the pesto, since it was already the right consistency. The recipe calls for cooking a pound of fettuccine; I only used half that much (8 ounces), as I prefer a smaller ratio of pasta to sauce than most recipes call for. This seemed to be the perfect amount.
Keeping it "McDougall Friendly" checklist:
ü Omit the 1/3 cup of olive oil and use a light veggie broth instead, as needed.