Pesto is a Genoese sauce for pasta. It also goes well with vegetables and as a dip or a spread for bruschetta; a thin version makes an excellent sauce for fish.
- 4 handfuls of fresh basil leaves
- 1 large garlic clove, crushed
- 1⁄4 cup pine nuts
- 1⁄4 cup grated parmesan or pecorino cheese
- 5–6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Directions: Put all the ingredients except the olive oil into a food processor and blend. Scrape down the sides and add the oil slowly through the feed tube till you’ve a thick green sauce. For a thinner sauce, add more olive oil. If you don’t have a processor, put the garlic and basil in a big mortar and pound with a pestle. Add the pine nuts, then the cheese and oil alternately till you’ve a thick paste. Add more oil to obtain the consistency you need.
Cilantro pesto: use cilantro as a substitute of fresh basil and walnuts instead of pine nuts.
Parsley pesto: replace the basil with parsley and use either pine nuts or blanched almonds.
Arugula pesto: replace the basil with arugula and use walnuts or pine nuts.