Friday, February 11, 2011

Basil Pesto

Pesto sauce is delicious. You can find many ready-made brands at the supermarket but they can never compare to a freshly made pesto. It's well worth the extra effort.

Tonight I tossed the basil pesto (recipe below) with a pound of cooked penne pasta, a cup of peas and a couple grilled chicken breasts cut into thin slices. AMAZING!!!

Basil Pesto
The Complete Book of Pasta and Noodles 
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, walnuts or almonds
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, threaded on a skewer
  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley leaves
  • 7 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • 1/4 finely grated Parmesan cheese
1. Toast the nuts in a small, heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until just golden and fragrant, 4 to 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Lower the skewered garlic into the water, boil for 45 seconds. Immediately run the garlic under cold water. Remove from the skewer; peel and mince.

3. Place the basil and parsley in a heavy-duty, quart-size, sealable plastic bag; pound with the side of a meat pounder until all the leaves are bruised. I used paper towel instead; it did the trick.

4. Place the nuts, garlic, basil, oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt to taste in the work bowl of a food processor; process until smooth, stopping as necessary to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl, stir in the cheese, and adjust the salt.

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