Here’s what you will need:
2-3 cups of fresh basil leaves (pluck and use the leaves; toss the stems)
2 T. of pine nuts
2 cloves of garlic
1/3 c. grated parmesan cheese
1/3 c. grated pecorino cheese
At this point I add a tablespoon or so of olive oil. Whirl it all again. Now that it has some oil, it will puree nicely. When you’ve got a nice paste (leave it a little chunky if you like it that way), scrape it all out into a bowl.
Add in your cheeses and mix with your spatula. Then drizzle in more oil as you stir to make a thick sauce. The color will be amazing, and the aroma…you’ll be tempted to dab it behind your ears. Presto….pesto….you’re done!
Another way I love to serve it, especially in the summer and for potlucks, is in a cold pasta salad. I like to use fusilli or some other pasta shape with crevices that grab hold of the pesto. Simply cook up your fusilli until al dente, drain it, and run cold water over it. When cold, place in a bowl and add cherry tomatoes, mini fresh mozzarella balls, and slivers of salami. Toss the whole thing with your freshly made pesto. Delicious!
But wait! There’s more….toss some pesto with hot, roasted potatoes. Yum! Not only are they delicious, but they’re beautiful; all glistening and green. Drop a dollop onto the top of soups, stews and braised meat dishes as a tasty garnish. Your pesto will melt into these sauces adding a fresh, earthy hit of flavor.
How do I store my pesto? Pesto is so easy to make; it’s tempting to just make it each time you need it, and you should. But as summer winds down and you realize that before long basil supplies will die down as well, you might consider making a couple of batches for the freezer. Simply store it in small plastic freezer containers with a thin layer of olive oil on the surface. I defrost a container overnight in the fridge. If I don’t use all its contents, I cover the remainder with a thin layer of olive oil to keep the beautiful color and seal in the freshness, and put it back in the fridge.