Classic Basil Pesto

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Serve this Cassic Basil Pesto with freshly cooked pasta. It is good to flavor a vinaigrette and the french classic Pistou soup .

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Classic Basil Pesto

This pesto recipe is from my cookbook Les Grands Classiques de la Cuisine d’Ici. When you will taste this pesto you will discover that it is much better than most commercial pesto sauces offered at the supermarket. During the summer period, I double or even triple the recipe to freeze my pesto in small glass jars. The pesto is usually served with freshly cooked pasta  but you can use it to prepare a vinaigrette, a french classic Pistou soup and a first course of fresh sliced tomatoes. Try this Pesto Veal Hamburger I’m sure you will like it.

Traditionally the pesto is prepared with a mortar and pestle but if like me you do not have the patience it will still be very good prepared with a food processor or a blender. According to tastes, we can only use basil or half basil half parsley, the proportions that I prefer for a less pungent flavored pesto. By reading the famous book The Classic Italian Cookbook of Marcella Hazan I discovered that she also prefers to use a mixture of basil and parsley.

Pesto without fresh basil

Before fresh basil was easily available in most supermarkets, I prepared my pesto with fresh parsley and dried basil. If you cannot get fresh basil you can substitute the fresh parsley and/ or basil with 2 cups of fresh parsley and 2 tablespoon of dried basil.

Nuts

Pine nuts can be replaced by pecans or walnuts. Keep pine nuts and walnuts in the freezer to prevent them from becoming rancid.

Conservation

The pesto can be refrigerated for 5 days and frozen for 8 months. Pesto in a mortar To prepare the pesto in a mortar, pounding parsley, basil, nuts and garlic by adding oil gradually until you get a sauce that easily falls from a spoon. Salt and pepper.

 

portion Servings: 6

Use 3 tablespoons of pesto per serving to serve with pasta. Since it is difficult to scrape all the pesto that adheres to the pan when you mix the pasta, I prefer to mix it to each serving.

Preparation30 minsCooking0 minTotal30 mins

 1 cup fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
 1 cup fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
 1 teaspoon of salt
 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
 1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
 2 tablespoons of pine nuts, pecans or walnut, chopped
 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (preferably)
 30 g (1/2 cup) grated parmesan (half will be used to top the pasta dishes

1

Place all the ingredients except Parmesan cheese in the food processor and pulse a few seconds to get a fairly smooth sauce with still very small pieces of herbs and nuts. Stop the device 2 times and scraped with a spatula.

2

Add the Parmesan and pulse 2 to 3 times not more.

3

Pesto Pasta: bring the water to boil to cook the pasta and reserve in a bowl some spoonfuls of water before it starts to boil. While pasta cooks, add the lukewarm water to the pesto to make it a little more fluid.

4

As soon as the pasta is cooked, drain and distribute into the plates or service bowls. Immediately pour 3 to 4 spoonfuls of pesto on each portion and quickly mix with 2 forks or tongs.

Ingredients

 1 cup fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
 1 cup fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
 1 teaspoon of salt
 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
 1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
 2 tablespoons of pine nuts, pecans or walnut, chopped
 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (preferably)
 30 g (1/2 cup) grated parmesan (half will be used to top the pasta dishes

Directions

1

Place all the ingredients except Parmesan cheese in the food processor and pulse a few seconds to get a fairly smooth sauce with still very small pieces of herbs and nuts. Stop the device 2 times and scraped with a spatula.

2

Add the Parmesan and pulse 2 to 3 times not more.

3

Pesto Pasta: bring the water to boil to cook the pasta and reserve in a bowl some spoonfuls of water before it starts to boil. While pasta cooks, add the lukewarm water to the pesto to make it a little more fluid.

4

As soon as the pasta is cooked, drain and distribute into the plates or service bowls. Immediately pour 3 to 4 spoonfuls of pesto on each portion and quickly mix with 2 forks or tongs.

Classic Basil Pesto

 

Pesto Vinaigrette

1 tablespoon of pesto

2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese (optional)

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Stir all the ingredients until homogeneous just before serving. Use on a lettuce with preferably pronounced taste and garnish with croutons if desired.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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