Alessandro’s Pesto

Once you learn how to make it, it becomes really easy. All you really need is an electric food processor; I have a Braun food blender, which is by far the best for small food preparations. 

Anyway, assuming always 8 people, here is the procedure. Oh, btw, even if you make a lot of it, the cool thing is that you can put it in the freezer in say 2 people portion Tupperware containers and store it for about a month or more.

You will need about 12 bunches of basil leaves
Parmigiano Reggiano, by now you figured out that it goes on most pasta recipes.
Olive oil, extra virgin is best.
Garlic (about 4 cloves will be good enough)
Pine nuts

Wash thoroughly the basil, then pick out each leaf one by one in a strainer (this is the painful part, get your girlfriend to help out, she’ll love it….heh). Once done you should do your best to remove water droplets from the leaves, you can dab paper towels onto them. Once they are dry, put as many as you can into the blender, and start it. As the leaves start getting chopped finely, you can keep adding leaves and all the garlic. Add some olive oil to help the mix get going. Keep adding all the basil leaves and olive oil until the mix is almost thick creamy. Grate about 1 measuring cup of parmigiano, and add to the mix, add olive oil as needed to keep it nice and smooth. Add the pine nuts, I guess for 8 people you’ll need all the sachet. Mix, add salt, and start tasting it so it does not get too salty, keep adding a little salt until it feels right. Add more oil until it gets creamy, but not runny!

You can prepare the pesto the day before and keep it in the fridge simply covering it with a thin layer of olive oil all over the top of the surface. You will do the same if you want to freeze it. The olive oil basically insulates it from air contact, and it will stay fresh like it was done on the spot. If you freeze it, take it out of the freezer about 2 hours prior to cooking, and eventually add some olive oil to soften it a little more.

Pesto can go with any kind of Pasta, you can use it as a spread if you want and prepare some appetizers.

When served with pasta, do not put too much; a good indicator is when the pasta has been stirred it should be green but not soaking in pesto sauce. Also you should grate some parmigiano on top once it is served on the plate.


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