I love Italian food (almost as much as I love Mexican food!). I especially love pesto, and was really craving some pesto pasta this past weekend. We didn’t have any left in the fridge, but I happened to notice that our three basil plants were loaded with leaves… wouldn’t want all that tasty goodness to go to waste!
I had no idea it was this easy to make, either… it’s a bit time consuming if you do everything by hand, but you could make it in the food processor, too. The recipe I adapted sort of guilt tripped me into doing it the super official from scratch way, though :D Apparently, when you use a food processor, you’ll end up with pesto that’s the consistency of a paste instead of being able to differentiate between the ingredients. Whatever your preference, I’m sure it’ll taste much better than the store-bought kind!
what you will need…
- 3-4 cups basil leaves [total guesstimation… I have no idea how much I actually used, just took a big bowl outside and filled it up]
- 5 medium cloves of garlic
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 1 cup grated parmesan
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
getting down to business…
Wash and dry the basil, then start chopping. If you’re chopping by hand, using a mezzaluna is a loooot easier than a regular knife [advantage of living with your parents = taking advantage of their well-stocked kitchen]. It also helps to chop a little bit at a time, then add in more ingredients as everything gets chopped up.
The recipe said to chop about a third of the basil with all the garlic, then when that’s finely minced, add another third of the basil and chop till minced, then the rest of the basil, the pine nuts in two stages, then the parmesan in two stages.
One suggestion I would add is to loosely chop up the pine nuts by themselves before adding to the basil - they’re hard to chop up finely once they get mixed in with the rest of the ingredients.
After everything’s chopped up, press the ingredients into a ‘cake’ and transfer into a bowl; then cover with olive oil. Before you use it, make sure to stir to combine the olive oil into the pesto. Since it made a lot more than I needed, I ended up freezing what I didn’t eat in my pasta in 2 tbsp sized balls - perfect size when I just need a little bit to use!
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