Pesto is a sauce that can actually be made from a variety of different herbs & spices, ground into a “Pesto”. The word “Pesto” comes from the Italian word, “pestare” which mens “to pound”, or simply having ground the herbs into a paste.
For most of us, the most popular Pesto sauce is made from Basil, so here’s the recipe for that: naturally Gluten Free.
Pesto tastes even better when made the day before, so if you think you’ll have some time the evening before a busy day, or the night prior to guests coming, then make it, store in airtight container, and when the pasta is cooked, you’ll be all set!
2 cups fresh Basil Leaves. Most markets sell a bunch of fresh Basil. That should be enough for this.
3/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil. If possible, use a “Light” blend
1/3 cup Pine Nuts (Walnuts are ok too, but Pine Nuts are the traditional one here)
3 large Garlic Cloves, paper removed, and crushed
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/4 cup Grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Romano Cheese
Additional grated cheese at the table for each plated serving.
Easy to do: Place the Basil, Nuts, Oil, and Garlic in a food processor or blender and puree, using the “pulse’ method. Add the Cheese, blend and lastly, add the S & P to your tastes. Done!
Store as said, in air-tight container until ready to use.
On the day of serving, cook the Pasta until al dente, but reserve a little of the starchy, cooking water before straining the pasta. Say, about 1 ladle full. After the pasta is drained, put into a large bowl, or back in the pot.
Add the pesto and the reserved water and stir well. Plate, then let folks add their own grated cheese at the table.
With a busy season ahead, it’s a satisfying and certainly easy Pasta Dish! Mangia!!