Yesterday, my house was filled with the incredible smell of freshly massacred basil. For the first time, I made home made pesto. It is a beautiful toxic green colour and the perfect consistency, and I don’t think it’ll be embarrassed to be seen with some fettuccine and a green salad. I followed a recipe from a book that one of my best friends gave me as a wedding present called
Not having had enough pine nuts, I simply added some pecan nuts and (shock! horror!) I used dried parmesan, not fresh. So what? It tasted amazing.
my adaptations to the official recipe:
- +- 2 cups of fresh basil leaves with most of the larger stalks removed, squashed down. (my feeble plants aren’t big enough yet, so I had to buy some).
- 8 cloves of garlic (only add this many if you like the taste of garlic – I used some pretty huge cloves and the result was interesting breath this morning)
- about 7 tbs parmesan
- about 50ml roasted pine nuts (when I roasted these a while ago, I almost burnt them. Lesson: don’t leave them unattended)
- a small handfull of pecan nuts
- a generous amount of olive oil (probably about 6 tbs ish)
- a generous pinch of pepper. I don’t usually use salt in my cooking (another sin! I know!), especially not when using a salty cheese like parmesan.
Peel the garlic and throw it in a blender. Blend this up, then add the basil. I like to use the pulse setting. Drive the neighbours crazy with the extraordinarily loud noise of your blender. Keep pulsing/blending the leaves until you get a nice green pulp, then throw in the olive oil, nuts, and parmesan. Add a sprinkle of pepper. Use a spoon or spatula to get any of the mix that is trying to climb the side of the blender and push it back down. Pulse/blend until you get a nice pesto-looking paste. I added some more olive oil at this point and gave it another quick pulse because it looked a little dry. It came out mean, green, and as the recipient of my experiments declared: “Holy Garlic!”
I cooked a bunch of fettuccine and when it was ready, I added some more olive oil to the pasta and then stirred in a generous blob of pesto and stirred it in. If I’d had some sour cream that hadn’t gone rotten, I’d have stirred a spoon of that in too.
Holy garlic, indeed.