CLASSIC pasta pesto
         

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The sauce of choice in Liguria, along the Italian Riviera. Fresh basil leaves are really a must; the small, very tender ones are optimum. The brightness of the taste of pesto, when done fresh and well, can not really be adequately described.

for the pesto sauce:

  • two cups fresh basil leaves
  • one-half cup olive oil
  • three cloves of garlic, roughly diced
  • two tablespoons pine nuts
  • salt (a teaspoon or to taste)
  • one-half cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • two tablespoons freshly grated Pecorino, either Romano or Tuscano
  • two tablespoons butter

Using a blender (pesto was traditionally made in a mortar with pestle, but a blender works excellently), put in the basil and garlic and mix for a few seconds. Then add the pine nuts and olive oil and salt, and blend at a high speed until the sauce approaches being creamy (not too much, however, as a little roughness in the texture is wonderful).

When the blending is completed, transfer the sauce into a mixing bowl and stir in the two grated cheeses, and then the softened butter, making sure you get a thorough and uniform melding.

It is now ready for combining with your favorite pasta, such as trofie with pesto or trenette with pesto, potatoes and green beans, as examples.

 


 

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