Pesto

Pesto SauceIf you have never had pesto, now is the time. It is creamy, has a bit of garlic, and an overall flavor that is out of this world. When I moved back to Milwaukee, our landlord, Angelo was one of the nicest guys. In the backyard of this downtown apartment, he had two full blown gardens, of which he would tend to on a daily basis. The gardens included beans, peas, basil, and zucchini, among other things. But one thing was sure, the basil was plentiful.

Angelo was kind enough to let him tend to his garden, as well as pick what we needed. Something needs to be said about a fresh stir fry of vegetables. It was just a wonderful experience. Angelo’s wife would also come by from time to time, and if anyone knows me, I poke around for recipes, especially from the older Italian women. During this time, she gave me her recipe for pesto, and it was amazing. I took her recipe and tweaked it, making it my own.  This is a sure hit with fettuccine, or spread on a toasted baguette, with fresh tomato slices.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of packed basil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, rough chopped
  • pinch of fresh cracked pepper, or 1/4 tsp
  • 3/4 tsp of course salt
  • 1/3 cup of pine nuts, toasted, place in skillet on medium heat, moving around for about 5 minutes
  • 1/2 cup of good olive oil
  • 3/4 cup of good Parmigiano Regiano, finely grated
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature

Use good ingredients here. To a blender or food processor add in everything but the cheese and butter. Puree the mixture, making a nice creamy sauce. You will first notice the color. A green that is out of this world! Remove the mixture, and place into a bowl. Add the butter, and cheese, and mix really well. Taste it. It has got to be one of the better flavors in this world. I wanted to keep eating off the spoon, as did my wife. We had to stop.

I served mine with fettuccine, cooked al dente. Once your pasta is cooked, and drained, add the pasta to a large bowl, with the pesto. Mix well, and serve. Trust me on this one, this is a must make. Pasta or no pasta, this one is a winner.



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