Hi there, this morning has been a busy one.
As you can see from this picture, I have beautiful basil plants which are growing at the speed of light. It is such a waste to let them grow out without making "pesto". When I lived in a water front condo outside Houston, I did not have a garden, and nostalgia of some things back from home was very strong. One of the things I missed not having in my garden was basil. We used to drive to downtown Houston to this very popular and expensive deli to get some things that were not available elsewhere. I remember paying something like USD 5.00 for some 20 leaves of basil, but the smell of them, was worth it !!!!!!! Getting back to us........ If you also have some basil plants, here is a recipe that will bring back the senses of summer during those long winter days.
Pick a generous amount of leaves, something like 300 grams (they are very light in weight), wash them and lay them on a canvas to dry, manage them carefully because they turn black easily.
While your leaves are drying, gather both ingredients and utensils.
In a bowl grate 150 grams of pecorino cheese and 200 grams of parmiggiano reggiano,
1 clove of garlic, 100 grams of pine nuts (if not available, walnuts will do) and 500 ml of good extra virgin olive oil.
We will be using a blender, but before using it, place your blender cup and blades in the freezer for a few minutes. As mentioned before, basil leaves are very delicate, the oxidize very quickly, a cold blender and blades will avoid this.
Take your cold blender and blade out of the freezer, place it in their working position and fill the cup with leaves, pine nuts, a pinch of salt, some cheese, garlic and pour some oil a bit at a time. Keep adding leaves and ingredients while blending till all ingredients are finished.
When everything is all blended, taste to see if amount of salt is ok. Pesto should be a bright luminous color. Now that everything is done, gather some small glass jars, pour your pesto inside, cap tightly and label it. It is ready to be used or frozen.
The best pasta to accompany pesto is “trofie” or “orecchiette”. These type of pasta can be found in good furnished Italian supply deli shops. If you cannot find this type of pasta, "linguini" will do just as well. Pesto is also very enjoyable on a bruschetta topped with thin slices of mozzarella cheese.
Enjoy it....... Maybe tonight for a porch-veranda candle light dinner. I make extra jars for friends and relatives.