Once you try this creamy pesto with lemon and honey it will be hard to go back to the basics. There are many variations you can come up with making pesto- different herbs, different nuts, even different cheeses make interesting sauces. The honey and lemon are what makes the sauce unique. I have made great variations by adding 1/2 pound of sauted chicken or turkey sausage and asparagas and/or red pepper. Don’t be afraid to experiment.
1 lb linguini
240 g (7 oz) of fresh basil (or combination of basil, italian parlsley, cilantro, or other fresh herb)
pinch of red chile OR squirt of Sambal Oelek or other red chile sauce
3 cloves fresh garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts, pecans or almonds, toasted
1/4 cup fresh grated parmesean cheese
juice of one lemon
3 Tablespoons honey
3/4 cup whip cream
3/4 cup 1/2 and 1/2
1/2 cup chicken stock
Shavings of parmeasan for garnish
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the pasta al-dente (8-10 minutes) and drain.
2. Meanwhile, blend basil, red chili, garlic, nuts, cheese, lemon and honey in a small cuisinart or blender.
3. In a meduim size saucepan combine basil mixture, cream and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and simer 15-20 minutes. Season with fresh ground pepper.
4. Combine hot pasta with pesto and garnish with parmeasan shavings.