How to make pesto

The basil pesto recipe, traditional and modern ways to make it

The pesto spaghetti

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The basil pesto spaghetti is certainly one of the delicious ways for enjoying pesto... Gnocchi are always a favorite, too.  Pesto is a very ancient taste... unlike many spaghetti sauce recipes featured on my sites, this recipe is actually quite old. Remember that the tomato only made it to Italy in the early 16th century; Indeed,  pesto has been in Italy much longer than any tomato sauce...

There was a sauce used by the ancient romans, called 'Moretum' that had almost all the same ingredients. In southern France, Provence more specifically, they have 'Pistou' which is quite similar to pesto, and from the same roman origin. This is the one people call french pesto. I have included a link to this pistou recipe further down on this site. Romans ate moretum with bread, as pasta wasn't as popular  to them back then...
Societies have evolved but good things endure... pesto remained!  So, how will you have your pesto today?
In case you need ideas, there are a few useful links on the right...

Now, how to make Basil Pesto, or Pesto Genovese? Here is the pesto recipe:

Ingredients for italian pesto:

3 cloves garlic
2 cups chopped fresh basil leaves
3 tablespoons pine nuts or pignolia
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated

Preparation:

Peel and chop the garlic.
Wash the fresh basil, then dry and remove the stems; chop down to small bits
This will require a fairly large amount of fresh basil leaves to achive this quantity...
Grate the cheese

Instructions:

A- The traditional way
The old way of making pesto is with a mortar and pestle.
Add basil, garlic, salt, and pine nuts to the mortar and grind them to a paste.
Pound in the cheese with the mortar. Finally, whisk in the olive oil until you have the desired consistency, and puree a batch in a matter of minutes.

B- Here is the modern way using the food processor:
Add the garlic to the food processor and mince. Then put in the basil leaves,
pine nuts, and some salt and pepper to the bowl of the processor.
While the processor is running, slowly pour in virgin olive oil until all the
ingredients are pureed. Stop the processor as needed to scrape down
the sides with a spoon to keep all the sauce at the bottom of the container.
Now add the grated Parmesan cheese and blend it into the sauce.
If your pesto sauce is too thick, you can add a tablespoon of water.

Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to use it.
This should stay fresh for 2 - 3 days in the refrigerator but can also be frozen if you want to keep it longer.

Pesto can be used in a wide variety of meals. 

Now to have your pesto with spaghetti, boil your pasta as per package instructions.
Once pasta is cooked, drop them in a mixing bowl; and pour one cup pesto
per pound of pasta. Toss the pasta until they are evenly coated in pesto. Serve immediately.

Et voilà! This is how to make and use Pesto sauce... Buon Appetito!

planting basil
Growing your own basil is easy! Growing basil yourself is recommendable, given the health benefit and a much better price when compared to store bought "fresh" pesto! Basil and Pesto genovese
Basil plants with pesto at sunset! Yes it takes a sizeable amount of basil to make pesto...


Recipes with pesto:

Find great basil pesto ideas here

More Pesto Recipes
Pesto Pizza
Pesto Pasta Salad
pesto lasagna
red pesto recipe
pesto chicken
Pesto Tomatoes
pistou
Shrimp and Bean
Brie bruschetta
Linguine Shrimp
Pesto Torte
Salmon pesto roll
Feta Zucchini Pasta

Many more Pesto Recipes under that link!



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