Sunday, December 07, 2008


Pesto is one of my very favorite things. It’s easy, it’s delicious and most people like it. When I realized I still had some basil left over from the Pad Khee Mao, I knew it needed to be put to use and what better way than the ultimate basil sauce: pesto! Plus, that meant I could use my mini prep food processor, which I never remember to use. It’s amazing for small things like this and salsa.

Pesto from Pasta:

2 garlic cloves (I used 4. 2 is for the weak!)
½ c. pine nuts
1 c. fresh basil leaves
2/3 c. olive oil
4 Tb. unsalted butter (I replaced this with olive oil, which probably was a bit too much)
4 Tb. freshly grated Parmesan cheese (it’s worthwhile to use a really good Parmesan. The cheese is important to the taste)
Salt and ground black pepper

Peel the garlic and process in a blender or food processor with a little salt and the pine nuts until broken up. Add the basil leaves and continue mixing to a paste.

Gradually add the olive oil, little by little, until the mixture is creamy and thick. Be careful with this. The olive oil will spill everywhere and make a mess.

Beat in the butter (or in my case, more olive oil) and season with ground black pepper (I used a lot). Beat in the cheese. Alternatively, you can make the pesto by hand using a pestle and mortar.

Store the pesto sauce in a jar, with a layer of olive oil on top to exclude the air, in the fridge until needed.

The reason I used more olive oil instead of butter is because I have never seen anyone make pesto with butter before. So it probably was a little too much oil and thus a little runnier than I would have liked, but still super tasty.

When I’m ready to use it, I’ll toss it into warm pasta and blend. Or maybe make pizza! Pesto can be used with so much; I’m excited to see what I’ll decide to do.

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