If you had a great summer garden full of basil, this is a great way to take advantage of all that green goodness. This is also a fun recipe to make with the little Chef's in your family. We have found they love the idea of seeing something from the garden so easily transformed. This Makes around 4 servings, maybe more depending on how you like to serve it.
2 cups fresh basil leaves — if leaves are large cut in half
1/2 cup olive oil - We love Olio23
3table spoons pine nuts
2cloves garlic- my variation is that they be roasted which makes them mellow. So i use additional roasted garlic to taste - start with 3 then adjust (see below)**
half tea spoon of salt (more to taste)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese and 2 tablespoons Pecorino Romano cheese
3tablespoonsbutter softened to room temperature
1. Put the basil, oil, nuts, garlic, and salt in a food processor or blender and mix at high speed. scrape ingredients down toward bottom to insure it mixes well.
2. When blended, pour in bowl and beat in grated cheeses by hand. once mixed beat in butter by hand.
3. Before spooning pesto over pastaadd table spoon of hot pasta water.
Note: this freezes well. we suggest you do step 1 but not step 2 and freeze. when ready to use, thaw overnight and do step 2 (beat in grated cheese and butter).
Genoese serve with fettuccine. another variation is to add cream to sauce at very end and let cook for a short while to thicken and warm. We Love it on gnocchi.
Get firm unbroken heads with no soft or sprouting cloves. Slice off enough of the tops to expose the tips of the cloves which are in the head. Place heads, cut side up, in a roasting pan or clay pot. Drizzle withabout a teaspoon of olive oil. Cover with a lid or foil and roast at 375’ in oven for appox 45 minutes to an hour until soft, golden brown and fragrant.
squeeze garlic out of cloves when ready to use. you can wrap in foil and store in refrigerator for up to a week.