Posted by: mchleen | February 12, 2009

Delicious authentic pesto sauce…mmm, my favorite!

pesto pastaSo I’ve posted two recipes and both have been italian which is not surprising if you know that I married one, but is surprising if you know that my favorite cuisine is latin american. But I cannot deny that pesto ranks at the tippity-top of my Manna-From-God list.

Pesto is perfect on pasta (especially spaghetti or fusilli), but is also incredibly flexible when you think of it as both a sauce and a condiment. Try it on toasted baguette with chopped tomato, use it as a dip, toss it into your steamed vegetables, grill a flank steak and top it with a dollop, use it in place of tomato sauce on pizza – or if you’re like me you’ll lick it straight off the spoon!

Pesto Sauce (yield: 2 cups)

2 cups packed fresh basil leaved, stemmed
3 garlic cloves
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
3 tablespoons grated Pecorino cheese
coarse sea salt, to taste

In a food processor, pulse basil and garlic until the mixture is coarse. With the motor running, add oil in a slow, steady stream; the sauce should be the consistency of ketchup. Add pine nuts and pulse until coarsely chopped. Transfer to a bowl and stir in cheese and salt. Transfer the sauce to a storage container; pour a thin layer of olive oil over the sauce to preserve it for storage. Store in the refrigerator or freezer.

(Note: Basil bought in the grocery store can feel cost-prohibitive. Be smart! Facilitate your pesto addiction. Grow your own basil plant this summer and make endless batches at a much more economical rate.)

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