Saturday, December 1, 2012

Pesto alla Genovese

The last of the basil was just picked from my mom's garden. She had 2 huge plants this summer that have provided more than enough basil for the summer and autumn. Before the weather got cool, my mom picked most of remaining leaves and decided we'd make pesto. She's made lots of pesto already this summer, but its a great way to use up any leftover basil and it is delicious.

I've experimented with different types of pesto in the past (such as pistachio pesto), but have never been that impressed. This recipe has the classic pesto taste I was looking for. If you have leftover, or if you double the recipe, it freezes well for later use. I like serving my tossed in whatever kinds of pasta I have at home. I keep it simple so the pesto flavor shines, but you can use it for whatever you like.

Adapted from Emeril Lagasse

1 1/2 cups basil leaves, firmly packed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/3 to 1/2 cup olive oil

In a food processor, blend the basil, salt, and pepper until the leaves are chopped. Add the cheese, pine nuts, and garlic. Turn the food processor on and add the oil in a steady stream. Start with 1/3 cup of oil, but if it is not enough, use the full 1/2 cup. Mix until the pesto has a smooth texture. If serving with pasta, toss with 1 pound of cooked farfalle or similar pasta. If the pesto seems dry, add a splash of the cooking liquid from the pasta. Serve hot.

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