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the real deal: basil pinenut pesto

Posted on September 27th, 2011  |  2 Comments

This pesto is for my husband. After seven wild ‘n crazy beautiful years I finally made him his favorite pasta sauce of all time and I didn’t add anything snazzy or different to it. I made plain old traditional pesto, just the way he likes it. After all, what are wives for?

Pine nuts are so expensive – reason #1 I always change my pesto recipes to use walnuts or something cheaper. Yeah I said it, I like to buy cheaper foods. But this was for him. So I bought ’em. And toasted ’em. More flavor that way.
Tossed them a bit with my hands, couldn’t find the tongs or a spoon nearby. Using a utensil is recommended but not needed, this is on low heat everyone.

Burnt pine nuts = smelly kitchen minus a few dollars

 The rest of the recipe couldn’t be simpler, all you have to do is add ingredients to food processor and press a button a few times.

Start with the pine nuts.

The result should look something like this. Pretty much bread crumb like texture.

Next comes the star of the show: Basil! Pack those pungent leave making sure to squeeze in all the flavor possible!

Add to the food processor. You may have to do this in parts if your machine is small like mine and can’t fit in all the basil.

Evoo time. I always feel like I’m adding so much oil (fat) to these kinds of recipes, but they aren’t the same without. Besides olive oil is good fat, it makes your hair and skin looking nice. :) Need some lotion, use some oil.

Then drizzle on your food.

Don’t forget the Parmesan cheese! I always add at the end. If you want to freeze your pesto, (ice-cube trays work great) skip this and just add it when you’re ready to use the pesto.

This is the look you’re going for, or something similar in texture. Add more oil if you like it a little runnier, or wait and add it to the dish right before serving for that fresh olive flavor.

Pesto goes with anything, making it a A+ food in my book. Pasta, whole wheat pasta, sandwiches, salads, soups and the list goes on.

This week I’ve already eaten it twice! First was with orecchiette, ‘little ears pasta’- love this shape, perfect for catching the sauce.

Can’t seem to find this in whole wheat though… hmm.

I can find spaghetti in whole wheat and it’s was an equally spectacular second serving with this pesto, you wouldn’t even know the difference.

I def see this traditional pesto as a standard sauce in my kitchen for the foreseeable future.

Glad I listened to Lui and didn’t change anything, I could have ruined it!

Do you like to change up recipes or do you stick to them as if your life depended on it?

I’m a total substituter, just can’t help myself!



basil pine nut pesto

makes about 1 cup

3/4 c. pine nuts

2 1/2 c. basil leaves, packed

2 garlic cloves

3/4- 1c. extra virgin olive oil

3/4 c. Parmesan cheese, grated

1/4 tsp salt

freshly ground black pepper

1. In a small sauce pan toast the pine nuts on low heat for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown. Toss in pan to prevent burning.

2. In a food processor, pulse together the pine nuts and garlic until bread crumb texture.

3. Add basil, salt, pepper, and evoo to food processor and pulse until well combined.

4. If freezing, stop here, you’re done. If not, time to add the cheese, again pulse until combined.

5. Taste test for salt and enjoy!

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2 Responses

  1. Jeannette says:

    Very cool website! came across your site while looking for a pesto recipe….which I just finish making! I will be bookmarking your website for future recipes. Thanks!

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