Monday, September 14, 2009

Classic Pesto

I love basil. In fact, I think it wouldn't be a stretch to say I'm obsessed with it. I use it in all my Italian savory dishes. Tonight, for dinner, I've a craving pasta tossed with a good pesto sauce.

Pesto means to pound or crush. It's traditionally made with a mortar and pestle. But it can be made in the food processor or blender.

As usual, I prefer the simple, most classic, recipe for this.

And in keeping with my usual style, I like to make a lot so that I can freeze it for another day. So you might wish to halve the recipe.

And don't tell my mother, but I cheat and make mine in a blender because I don't have a food processor or a mortar and pestle. I'll get around to getting these items one day. Sigh.


8 cups basil leaves, well packed
8 to 10 cloves garlic, lightly crushed and peeled
1 cup pine nuts
1 cup walnuts
3 cups freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino cheese
3 cups extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all the ingredients in a blender. Grind until it is a paste.

Stir pesto into drained pasta while still hot.

Garnish with extra cheese and crushed pine nuts.


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