This Christmas my husband gave me one of the best presents ever. A gift certificate to a little Italian market called Tony Caputos.
I had one rule. I must spend it on things I want, not things we needed or could use. So I went a little crazy. I already make my own pasta and gave a stock pile so I went there to buy things I wouldn’t normally buy and things that would shine in some later dishes. The guy at the counter only looked at me a little weird when I bought grana padano, aged balsamic vinegar, aged cheeses, speck, anchovy paste, fancy chocolates, olives, truffles, and more. The first thing I made was this pesto. It will be featured in later recipes, and was so divine I may have eaten a ton of it to “taste test.”
2 cups of fresh basil, packed
4 T Parmesan or other hard aged cheese
4 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 t salt
2 T Pine nuts, toasted
3 cloves garlic
Blanch the basil for about 10 seconds. Drain (a salad/ herb spinner works great).
In food processor grind pine nuts, cheese, salt, garlic and half the olive oil.
When processed add basil and continue to drizzle olive oil in.
Taste and adjust flavors to your preference. To save for later use top with a little oil and freeze. This will keep the basis from browning.
* I like my pesto thick because you can always add more EVOO later and when using it in some of the upcoming recipes it will need to be thicker.