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Pesto Categories: Pasta|Viviano Family Recipes|Import|Italian|Sauces & dressings
Nb persons: 6
Preparation time:
Total time:
Source: Elizabeth Delapp

    2 cups  basil leaves, loosely packed, fresh
    5 sprigs  parsley leaves
    2 medium cloves  garlic
    1 teaspoon  salt
    2/3 cup  pine nuts
    1 tablespoon  Parmesan cheese, grated
    1 tablespoon  Romano cheese, grated
    ¾ cup to 1 cup  olive oil
    6 tablespoons  unsalted butter
    6 quarts  water
    6 teaspoons  salt
    1¼ pounds  linguini

Mix together the basil, parsley, garlic, and salt, and chop them to fine bits. Crush the pine nuts with a rolling pin or meat pounder, and add them to the garlic and basil. Chop some more, and then put everything into a large mortar. Pound and grind the mixture with a pestle until a good thick paste is formed. Add the cheese and grind some more until the paste is homogeneous. Add the olive oil as a tablespoon at a time, working with the pestle until the paste has absorbed as much of the oil as it can. Depending on how moist the cheeses and the basil leaves are, you may need to use a little more or little less oil to reach a thick sauce consistency. This pesto may be made with more or less garlic, depending on taste, but the proportions above produce a flavor in which the basil and garlic and pine nuts share equally.

Cook and drain the pasta (reserving a small amount of the water) and put it on a warmed serving dish or 6 individual warmed dishes. Add 1 teaspoon butter per person to the paste and toss lightly. Then add 1 heaping tablespoon pesto per person and toss again. If the pesto has been chilled and is stiffened, you may add a tablespoon of the reserved hot pasta water to your pasta and toss again.

Serves 6.

Blender Pesto: Coarsely chop the basil and garlic together; add the salt and put the mixture into a blender. Add half the olive oil and blend briefly at low speed until the herbs are minced. Add the cheese and pine nuts and blend at medium speed until everything is well amalgamated but not puréed. Stop blending two or three times and scrape the mince from the sides of the blender. Scrape the mixture into a small bowl. Beat in by hand as much of the remaining oil as needed to make a thick sauce. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Food-Processor Pesto: Place everything but the olive oil and pine nuts in the food processor bowl with the steel knife in place. Process on/off briefly until all the ingredients form a very fine mince. Slowly add the pine nuts and olive oil through the tube, continuing to process as you do so. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula once or twice, and stop processing when you have the consistency of a thick sauce. Makes 6-8 servings.

To conserve pesto: Put pesto in a jar with a tight lid, but before you seal it make sura a thin film of olive oil has formed on top of the herb-nut mince. If it hasn't, add a few drops of oil. Keep refrigerated until time to use and then bring it to room temperature. Do not heat in a saucepan, as the color becomes rather unattractive and the flavor dissipates a bit and changes. Pesto may be frozen if you make it without the cheese, adding the cheese to thawed pesto before serving.

From Elizabeth DeLapp. Compare it to mine, I'm sure mine is better!

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