Basil pesto originated in Genoa, Italy. They eat pesto at least once a day, from putting it in their pasta to spreading it on bread or putting a dollop in their minestrone. You can make a cold pasta salad with blanched green beans and potatoes for a nice delightful meal in the summer.
3 oz basil leaves, picked
1/2 cup pine nuts, untoasted
3/4 cup grated parmesan
2 smaller sized cloves of garlic, sliced or chopped small
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
– In a blender pour about 1/2 cup of oil, then layer the basil, garlic, pine nuts, parm, salt, and top with remaining amount of oil.
– Put the lid on the blender and start on high for 30 seconds. Turn the blender off and scrap down the sides. Repeat 2-3 times, until it looks like it’s coming to a puree. You want to blend it as little as possible and not heat up the pesto from continuous blending.
– Quickly transfer to a smaller container and cover the top with a very light layer of oil. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Dressing for pasta salad – cook and shock fusilli pasta, toss in some chilled boiled sliced potatoes, green beans, pesto and viola!
Use as a spread – take the pesto base and mix in 1 – 1 1/2 cups whole milk ricotta and serve as a spread.
Soups, salads, and more: Italians put a dollop of pesto on top of there minestrone soup in the winter, the possibilities are endless.