This weekend, I made one of my daughter’s favorite meals — spaghetti with pesto sauce. I harvested a bunch of basil from my garden, and since I wanted to double the recipe I supplemented it with some basil I bought at the farmers market. My whole house smelled delicious for the entire day!
Not only does my daughter love pesto, but I too love its gorgeous emerald green color, intense garlicky/herby flavor and ease of preparation. You can store pesto sauce in a glass jar in the fridge for about three months. To keep the top layer from darkening, lay a piece of plastic wrap on the surface before sealing the jar.
- 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
- 3 large garlic cloves, cut into pieces
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 1/2. tsp salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 c. grated Romano cheese (if this cheese is too strong for you, you can use half the amount of Romano and half Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese)
- 1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened and cut into small pieces
Put the basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts, salt, pepper and olive oil into a food processor and blend to a smooth puree, stopping as needed to scrape the sides of the bowl. Add the grated cheese and the butter and process for about 15 seconds. Scrape the sides again and pulse just a few times until everything is thoroughly mixed. Do not over-process or the pesto will have no texture.
This recipe makes enough for one pound of pasta — spaghetti or fettuccine work well. Cook 1 pound of pasta until al dente. Reserve 1 Tbsp. of cooking water from the drained pasta and stir it into the pesto sauce. Toss the pasta with the sauce until it’s thoroughly coated.