Sunday, August 18, 2013

Homemade Pesto

Does this look amazing, or what?!

It tasted amazing, too, with its wonderful mix of flavors and textures; I just love pesto, and when it comes to recipe payback for the amount of work put in, this one really packs a punch. It's made with six simples ingredients that bring plain pasta to life and make you feel like a gourmet cook! I found this gem, years ago, in my The New Good Housekeeping Cookbook.

1 cup packed with basil leaves
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts (or walnuts), chopped finely
1/3 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese (and no, you can't just use the canned stuff--the horror!)
1-2 minced garlic cloves
1 tsp salt

One method is to throw everything into a food processor and chop until it meets your pesto-texture preference. Another way is to simply chop the basil and nuts and then mix everything together. Then mix it with freshly cooked pasta, use it on homemade chicken pesto pizza, or whatever your heart desires. This recipe freezes beautifully; I packed a frozen container in our camping cooler and served it a few days later. If using that method, allow it to thaw to room temperature before mixing with your pasta. (There is no need for it to be hot when you put it on hot pasta.) If it's too cold and you don't have time to let it get to room temperature, set it in a pan of warm water while you boil the pasta.

This year, I used my own basil, grown in my garden. Next year, I plan to plant several plants and whip up enough to freeze and give as gifts--It's that delicious. I'd love to hear how you like it! :)

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