Pesto Sauce

Hard to believe now, but when I wrote the book in 1971, Pesto seemed extraordinarily exotic. My editor had never heard of it. I still think it's one of the most delicious things on the face of the earth.

  • 2 cups basil leaves
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt and 3/4 teaspoons pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Put all the ingredients except the cheese into a blender and blend until well mixed.

Stir in cheese.

This keeps well in the refrigerator if you seal the top with a layer of oil.  This recipe makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Notes: This is pre-food processor recipe, but it's a LOT easier to make with a food processor than a blender.  It's helpful to grind up the garlic first, then the pine nuts and finally the basil.

If you're using this for pasta, add about 3 tablespoons of sweet butter at the end, and stir in some of the pasta cooking water to thin it out before tossing it all together.

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The Gourmet Cookbook

Published: 2004
Editor: Ruth Reichl