The art of space in serving pasta: basil pesto (Oct 6)

These days we can get fresh basil leaves very easily throughout year.

Basil pesto is a quick and economical pasta menu when I run out dinner ideas. The perfume of basil and the rich garlic flavour certainly enhance our appetite!! It always secures Mr. Husband's contentment. I truly appreciate Italians who invented this!


  • Fresh basil leaves (75g)
  • 1 clove of small garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese (instead, I used 15g of halloumi)
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • black pepper
  • 6-7 mini tomatoes for topping


1. Boil 3-4L of water in a large deep pan
2. Cut basil leaves into rough pieces. Process all ingredients except salt and tomatoes for 10 seconds. Open the lid and taste it add salt if necessary (sometimes cheese is very salty). Process it another 10 seconds
3. boil pasta as directed and dress with the pesto. Top the diced tomatoes to serve.

Let me introduce some cost performances in this dish.

Cost performance 1: price

Let's calculate how much is this home made basil pesto.
  • Basil (25g): 0.89 pounds
  • Halloumi (15g out of 250g offered 2.5 pounds): 0.17 pounds
  • Pine nuts (10g out of 250g offered 3.85 pounds): 0.15 pounds
  • +garlic and olive oil

This pesto (around 100g for two people) might cost less than 1.4 pounds

In comparison, ready made basil pesto products likely cost 2.7-3 pounds for 100-120g.  
For instance, Sacla basil pesto is offered 
in 2.75 pounds!!
They are fine products but not as fresh as basil leaves. 
Therefore, these products got less flavour but more chemical and salt. 
In addition, they are more expensive. 

Cost performance 2: presentation, the art of space

I serve cappellini or spaghetti in our largest plate as restaurants do
albeit the fact that the dish doesn't fit in our dish washer.
I love the remained space of the dish 
that surrounds food. 
It brings an elegance and romance
in home dinning. 

The below image is from Sacla website introducing recipes of using their products including Basil Pesto.
Looks nice and homely. 
However, even the taste is nice, 
it looks quantitive.

So, what about this?
Same quantity but it looks more tasty!! 
(sorry Sacla)

From this space effect on the serving dish, I can interpret that at restaurants, we pay the space of dishes in addition to ingredients, tenant fee and involved man power. 

At home, the space of dish is free!!

Total time to prepare: 20 mins
Total cost: 3.1 pounds (0.7 for cappellini, 1.4 for pesto, 1 for the rest of veggies and fruit)

1 comment:

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