Pistou is a classic provençal sauce made of basil, garlic and olive oil, similar to pesto but without the pine nuts and Parmesan. Mary's creamy, herby sauce is the perfect partner for pasta.
For the pistou
- 4 tbsp roughly chopped flatleaf parsley
- 4 tbsp roughly chopped fresh basil
- 2 tbsp roughly snipped fresh chives
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 lemon, juice only
- 200g/7oz full-fat crème fraîche
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the linguine
For the pistou, blend the herbs, garlic, lemon juice and crème fraîche in a food processor until finely chopped. Season well with salt and pepper.
Cook the linguine in a large pan of salted boiling water according to the packet instructions. Drain, reserving 2 tablespoons of the pasta water.
Melt the butter in a deep frying pan, add the mushrooms and fry over a high heat for a few minutes. Cover with a lid for 3 minutes, remove the lid and cook off any liquid over a high heat until the mushrooms are golden brown. Spoon into a bowl.
Add the pistou to the frying pan and bring to the boil. Add the pasta and reserved water, season with salt and pepper and toss until coated.
Add most of the Parmesan and mushrooms.
Tip the pasta into bowls and scatter with the remaining Parmesan and mushrooms. Check the seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if necessary, and serve.
The pistou can be made up to a day ahead and kept in the fridge until needed.