Pesto - The Fragrant Italian Sauce !!
Pesto is one of the earliest sauces / dips I started making. It is my absolute personal favourite and my 'go to' sauce everytime I'm in a fix, so when in doubt, use pesto !!
The woody fragrance of pine nuts blending with the sweetness of basil is a marriage made in heaven.
It is a light fresh sauce perfect for summer that can not only be used in pastas, but also salads. It also makes for an interesting dip / topping.
Bless the Italian Nonnas to have invented this !!
'Pesto' is a generic term used for anything that is made by pounding and originally was made with basil, garlic, pine nuts, olive oil and parmesan, though today there are various versions of pesto, made with many different ingredients.
While traditionally Pesto does contain Parmesan, I do not add it in my version of the recipe. Since I use so much of Pesto, I always try to do away with cheese wherever I can, though I'd suggest you should add to the recipe, especially if you are making this for the first time.
100g Basil leaves
1/2 cup Pine nuts
5 cloves of garlic.
1/2 cup grated Parmesan (optional. add it if you are making it for the first time.)
4 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
1. In a food processor, add all ingredients besides the olive oil. Process on low till all ingredients blend in well.
2. Increase the processor speed to high and dribble oil in a thin stream.
3. Scrape down the sides of the food processor jar and transfer the pesto in a jar. Use immediately or refrigerate.
felice martellante !