Monday, January 21, 2013

Pesto Sauce





"A man taking basil from a woman will love her always." Sir Thomas Moore


                                              PESTO SAUCE                                              


So I went through my recipes; looking for my pesto recipe and I found two recipes; one that is hand-written and another one that looks like it is from a cookbook. The recipes on both papers are identical.  My Sister Claudia gave me the recipe many years ago, she obtained it from a cookbook called Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking; Claudia has told me a number of times that she loves the cookbook and refers to it often.  I am sure at one time I hand-wrote the recipe from the cookbook while visiting her; and at another time she made me a copy.



Regardless, the point is, one has a list of ingredients only, and the other has a list of the ingredients and specific instructions that I did not follow….oops! That is the beauty of cooking, I believe I cook instinctively. At times I do follow recipes step by step, yet more often than none I scan a recipe, and then start cooking without following the recipe.  Basically everything I cook is a meal from my past and it is all done by memory…but remembering is hard at times.  Does that make sense? 


2 cups tightly packed fresh basil leaves

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons pine nuts

2 garlic cloves chopped fine

Salt

½ cup of parmigiano-reggiano cheese

2 tablespoons Romano cheese

3 tablespoons butter softened to room temperature


Soak your basil to wash it ... gently pat thoroughly to dry with paper towels.

Put the basil, olive oil, pine nuts, chopped garlic, and an ample pinch of salt, in the processor bowl and process until creamy.  


Add cheese and butter and pulse quickly several times until everything is incorporated together. That is it; so easy, right? I pour it in an air-tight container, either a small canning jar or a plastic container, and then in the freezer it goes. At this point the author suggests freezing it without the cheese or butter, but I did and the sauce was delicious. It held up and lasts in my freezer for a month or so. This recipe goes a long way because the flavoring is quite strong and tasty; a little bit does the trick; for a pound of pasta I usually plop 2-3 large tablespoons or you can say ¼ of a cup to one pound of pasta.   I have thawed it by running it under  cold water while in the container, or I take it out of the freezer an hour or two before I need it as I did on “Grilled Cheese Night”, once I am done, it goes back in the freezer. The kind of pastas that the sauce compliments are : Bowties, Ravioli, and Penne.  Another variation is to add to the hot pasta, a couple or three large tablespoons of ricotta cheese and some of the pasta water along with the pesto. I don’t add too much of the water at first and basically if I need to add more I could.  Mix it thoroughly; the ricotta cheese lessens the pesto taste if too strong.



I love basil, I grow it every spring, I love the smell and the taste; it is added in my tomato sauce, I put it in a tomato salad, I have chopped fresh basil and thyme and mixed it in butter.  The combination of the two is delicious and great for bagels, toast or if you are having a brunch. In the summer it is picked almost daily. I make about two batches of pesto at the end of the season and I also dry some of it as well.  The dry basil is used in sauces and salad dressing.          

Enjoy!


Mangia, Mangia….No Talk!

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What's for dinner - W/O April 24,2016

Dinners This week April 24, 2016

Sunday

Chicken Kababs – Greek Salad and Orzo

Monday

Fusilli with Ricotta Cheese- salad and Italian bread

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Chicken Cutlets-Salad- Green Beans - French-fries

Wednesday

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Thursday

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