I must confess that I hate most of these new-wave pesto recipes that you often see at restaurants. Sorry, but I want good, solid pesto, not some mango-wasabi-walnut pesto “sauce.” And even restaurants that serve authentic pesto often screw it up. So I give you what I think is an ideal pesto recipe which properly balances all the component flavors. I hope you’ll like it as much as I do.
Also, to take advantage of cheap summer basil prices (or your garden), you can make a huge batch of pesto and freeze it. When you freeze the pesto, you can do so in ice cube trays, then empty the trays into a sealable container or bag. Now you have an entire year’s worth of pesto already divided into single serve portions in your freezer! Do note that as time progresses, stored pesto loses its saltiness, so if it has been in the freezer for more than a couple months, you’ll likely need to add salt to taste when you thaw it.
This pesto is also good when mixed with some red sauce and used as a pizza or lasagna sauce.
Pesto is traditionally served chilled on hot pasta, so put it in the fridge until you use it. Go easy when serving. A little pesto can go a long way.
Prep time: 1/2 cocktail
3 cups packed basil (approx. 3 ounces)
2-3 cloves garlic
¾ cup pine nuts
¾ cup good extra virgin, cold-pressed olive oil
½ cup grated parmesan cheese (preferably Parmesan Reggiano)
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
Combine all ingredients in food processor. Mix until smooth.