Pesto

pesto_recipe_post_img | paulasitaliankitchen.comI was always afraid of making pesto and used store-bought for years, until I discovered how easy it is to make! It has only a few simple ingredients.

To create a coarse mixture, use a mortar and pestle. I don’t have a mortar and pestle and I find the food processor works just fine. It just makes a creamier version.

This recipe is for basil pesto. One thing I do find challenging is the lack of fresh basil in the Midwest. It’s hit or miss, so when I see it I stock up since you need quite a bit for this recipe. I use pesto for so many things that I never have an issue of it going bad before it’s consumed. It keeps several weeks in the fridge. But certainly you may freeze it; it will keep up to 6 months.

Before storing, make sure you leave enough room at the top to put a layer of olive oil to cover the pesto. This will keep the air from turning it brown during storage.

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Spread it on bruschetta or add it to soups or pasta. Give it a try – it’s really delicious and you’ll wonder why you didn’t make it from scratch a long time ago. 🙂

Pesto
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Spread it on bruschetta or add it to soups or pasta. Give it a try – it’s really delicious and you’ll wonder why you didn’t make it from scratch a long time ago.
Author:
Recipe type: Sauce, spread, pasta dressing
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 1 cup
Ingredients
  • 3-4 cups fresh sweet basil leaves loosely packed, (rinsed, stems removed and dried)
  • 3 tablespoons of raw or toasted pine nuts, optional (traditional pesto alla genovese calls for pine nuts, but they are super expensive.)
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil (you may need more once you blend it – if dry drizzle small amounts until it loosens up a bit, is spreadable and of a creamy consistency)
  • 4-6 tablespoons of freshly grated parmigiano reggiano or a combination of parmigiano and pecorino romano
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • A pinch of salt
Preparation
  1. Mortar and Pestle:
  2. Place a few leaves in bottom of mortar and sprinkle with salt. Use the pestle to crush the leaves until coarse.
  3. Continue adding and crushing leaves until all are ground.
  4. Add garlic and pound until mixture forms a smooth paste.
  5. Add pine nuts (optional) and grind to paste.
  6. Stir in the cheese and add enough olive oil so that mixture is creamy.
  7. Food Processor:
  8. Place all ingredients in your food processor and pulse until creamy, adding olive oil until mixture is creamy.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Makes about 1 cup
Ingredients:

  • 3-4 cups fresh sweet basil leaves loosely packed, (rinsed, stems removed and dried)
  • 3 tablespoons of raw or toasted pine nuts, optional (traditional pesto alla genovese calls for pine nuts, but they are super expensive.)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (you may need more once you blend it – if dry drizzle small amounts until it loosens up a bit, is spreadable and of a creamy consistency)
  • 4-6 tablespoons of freshly grated parmigiano reggiano or a combination of parmigiano and pecorino romano
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • A pinch of salt

Preparation: Mortar and Pestle
Place a few leaves in bottom of mortar and sprinkle with salt. Use the pestle to crush the leaves until coarse. Continue adding and crushing leaves until all are ground.

Add garlic and pound until mixture forms a smooth paste.

Add pine nuts (optional) and grind to paste.

Stir in the cheese and add enough olive oil so that mixture is creamy.

Preparation: Food Processor
Place all ingredients in your food processor and pulse until creamy, adding olive oil until mixture is creamy.

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