The Ingredients (for approximately 490 ml or 2 cups):
- 110 g (or 4 oz) of basil sprigs
- 70 g (or 2½ oz) of Italian, or flat-leaf parsley
- 4 cloves of garlic, weighing approximately 20 g ( or ¾ oz)
- 3 g (or 1 teaspoon) of salt
- 1 g (or ½ teaspoon) of freshly ground black pepper
- 70 g (or ½ cup) of pignolia (pine nuts)
- 60 g (or ½ cup) of walnuts
- 240 ml (or 1 cup) of salad grade olive oil
- 55 g (or 2 oz) of a hard, aged cheese such as Parmigiano (I used Pecorino Romano)
- Remove the leaves from the basil stalks and place them into the bottom of a food processor or blender. (Stalks may be saved and used to flavor broth or a casserole.)
- Cut the large stems off the parsley, roughly chop the leaves, and place them on top of the basil.
- Peel the garlic cloves and mash or crush them with the salt until they form a paste. Place the paste in the food processor.
- Add the pepper, pignolias, and walnuts to the food processor.
- Fill a 1-cup measure with the olive oil.
- Start the food processor on a medium setting and slowly pour the olive oil in through the feed tube as the herb mixture grinds.
- When the oil is all used up open the food processor and add the grated cheese.
- Grind again, this time at highest speed, adding additional oil if necessary to produce a spoonable (but not quite pourable) sauce.
- Store the pesto in the refrigerator with a tiny layer of salad grade olive oil across the top to prevent oxidation.
- To serve with pasta, cook the pasta (I used penne made from lentil flour) according to package instructions, but begin sampling at 5 minutes for doneness.
- Drain the pasta and immediately add the desired amount of pesto to freshly boiled and very hot pasta. Stir immediately and continuously until the pesto coats every piece of pasta.
|Penne and A Perfect Pest-O with More-Than-a-Mouthful Meatballs, |
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Many years ago I was given an Italian pasta machine and cranked out many a wonderful batch of linguine, spaghetti, and lasagna. As with other kitchen appliances, the instruction manual came with suggestions for recipes. The Pesto Genovese on page 24 was the best I ever tasted, and I never altered anything about the recipe. However, I did black out the suggestion that, if fresh basil was unavailable Italian parsley and a small amount of dried basil could be substituted. No. And now I have my own plants, both sweet basil and Thai basil. When they need to be harvested my thoughts always turn to Pesto Genovese.