Dad’s famous pesto

Happy Thursday, everyone!

One of my absolute favorite dishes growing up (and still one of my favorites now, let’s be honest), was my dad’s pesto. It’s warm, it’s nutty, it’s magical. My dad has two super famous dishes in my childhood: his ribs and his pesto. Him and my mom both have always been really good cooks, so I lucked out growing up with delicious food and family meals. We always made sure we had dinner together when I was growing up and as I’ve gotten older, I’ve really realized just how important it is to have that special family time. I’m super lucky that they prioritized family meals and that we were able to spend that time together. Some of my happiest memories really do involve my dad’s pesto; it’s THAT good. Even now, as an adult, my dad and I will get the opportunity to cook together and we love making food for our families and each other. It’s truly a special time that I cherish with my dad. We’ve always bonded over our love of food, cooking, and wine.

 

That all being said, I know green colored food can be kind of intimidating, so just trust me when I say this pesto will change your life. It’s delicious with any kind of pasta and you can use it on chicken, fish, stuffing mushrooms, and honestly, you could probably put it on just about anything savory and it would be amazing. I really love making a huge batch of it so I can save some to add to whatever I decide to make later on that week. One of the beauties of this recipe is that you can make it and cater it to your own taste buds. Do you like a nuttier taste? Then add some more pine nuts! Do you like it to be a little spicier or herbier? Add more garlic or chili oil or basil! Make this pesto how your taste buds love it!

Pesto ingreditents

Recipe

4oz Fresh basil (yes, for this recipe the basil has to be fresh so just trust me on this)

1 Cup of fresh parsley

3 garlic cloves

1 ¼ Cups pine nuts

1 ½ cups of parmesan cheese

1 Cup of olive oil

2 TSP of Trader Joe’s chili onion oil

Salt and pepper to taste

However much of whatever pasta you choose!

Step 1:

Boil water for your pasta and then add the pasta once the water is boiling.

Step 2:

While the pasta is boiling and cooking, make the pesto!

Step 3:

In a blender or food processor add the basil, garlic, parsley, pine nuts, olive oil, parmesan cheese, chili oil, salt and pepper.

Step 4:

Blend until combined and you get a paste texture.

Step 5:

Taste it! If you taste it and feel like it needs more of any of the ingredients, then go ahead and add them!

Step 6:

Strain your pasta

Step 7:

Spoon the pesto into the pasta and mix till the pasta is fully coated.

Step 8:

Plate, and enjoy!

Pesto final product

Easy Peasy Ratatouille

Easy Peasy Ratatouille

Ratatouille Final Product

Anyone who knows me well knows that Ratatouille is one of my absolute favorite movies ever. You really can’t go wrong with Paris, cooking, and a theme of: anyone can cook. It’s wholesome, it’s heartwarming, and the FOOD? How do they make cartoon food look so dang good? I tend to eat vegan on a fairly regular basis just because that’s what my body feels good eating so this recipe is 100% vegan and 500% delicious! Ratatouille is basically a vegetable baked stew type dish. I love it because it’s warm and it has such simple but truly amazing flavors. On top of that, ratatouille really is so easy to make, especially if you need a good veggie dish for a big group of people.

Sometimes I’ll add some ricotta because I just love cheese and I feel like it really compliments the acidity of the tomatoes in this dish really well. However, for the purposes of this being my first post and I’d like to keep this one vegan, I won’t be adding it tonight! It’s such a simple recipe and I love making it for people because it’s so filling both for the tummy and the soul.

Cooking is such a big stress reliever for me and as much as I love making complicated dishes, sometimes you just have to go back to the basics and make something that’s super quick and easy. There’s also not very much clean up that needs to be done after making this, so even better! I hope you all enjoy and please leave any comments or feedback!

Ratatouille Ingredients

Ratatouille Pre-Oven

Recipe:

1 Eggplant

2-3 Yellow squashes

1 Can of crushed tomatoes

1 Yellow onion

1 TBSP of tomato paste

2 TSP crushed red peppers

2 cloves of garlic finely chopped

2 TBSP of basil

¼ Cup of olive oil

Salt and pepper

Step 1:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F

Step 2:

Chop the eggplant, zucchini, and onion into 1 inch cubes

Step 3:

In a bowl, mix together the veggies, garlic, olive oil, basil, salt, pepper, and tomato paste

Step 4:

In a medium sized dutch oven, pour the can of crushed tomatoes and smush a little more with your hands so it’s almost a sauce consistency.

Step 5:

Pour the vegetable mixture in with the tomatoes and mix up until everything is evenly coated.

Step 6:

Bake in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour.

Step 7:

Let it cool a little bit and then spoon into a bowl and get ready for deliciousness!

*Full disclosure, I didn’t have a dutch oven big enough to fit all of the veggies this time, so I had to use a baking dish.

Welcome!

 

Hi! My name is Natalia. I’m 26 years old and I have always had a love and a passion for food. I’m pretty sure I get that love from my abuela who is an incredible cook! In my world, food brings people together. It bonds us and it brings positivity and happiness into our world like nothing else can. Family dinners were always super important in my home growing up. We always made time to eat together and spend time together as a family even when our schedules were packed and crazy. I want to share my love for food and my creations,  with a goal of bringing people together and feeding the heart and soul. I don’t have any formal training, so sometimes I really have NO idea what I’m doing and I’m happy to have you along for the ride! I want to create recipes that taste amazing and sometimes they’ll be super healthy and good for you, and sometimes they’re just going to be delicious and good for your soul. Making healthy food tasty can be  fun and easy.IMG_2161

Cooking and food really bring people together and if there’s anything I want you to take from this blog, it’s a love and appreciation for food and cooking, like I have. I feel like if we all cooked more and shared a meal together more frequently, the world would be a better place. We can come together and have discussions;  we can laugh together and share ideas. Sharing a meal with someone really opens the door to productive and positive conversations. The world is a crazy and hectic place right now, so let’s find the beauty in it together and let’s make some delicious food!