Pesto

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Source: Audrey Nash

Pre-Notes

    I think this pesto is best served at room temperature. It is great topped with Shrimp Scampi or grilled chicken breasts.

Ingredients

  1. 7 oz basil leaves (any combination of Italian, lemon or cinnamon) (about 3 cups packed)
  2. 1 oz parsley leaves
  3. 2 large garlic cloves
  4. 1 c pinenuts, toasted (can use walnuts or pistachios)
  5. 3/4 c Parmesan cheese, or Parmesan/Romano blend
  6. 1/2 c extra virgin olive oil
  7. 2 oz. butter, melted (1/4 c)
  8. salt to taste
  9. 2 lbs pasta (I like rotini), cooked according to package directions, reserving pasta water
  10. Parmesan cheese and cayenne pepper for serving.

Instructions

  1. In quart sized zipper-lock bag, place basil and parsley. Seal bag pressing out all air. With blunt end of meat tenderizer, bang on the bag against a solid surface to bruise the leaves. Set aside.
  2. Skewer garlic cloves and place in boiling water for 45 seconds, to par cook garlic. Cool under running water. Set aside.
  3. In work bowl of food processor with blade, blend nuts, garlic and a small amount of olive oil, to form a paste.
  4. Add basil and parsley, Parmesan cheese, butter, and salt. Process to form a smooth paste.
  5. While food processor is running, drizzle in remaining olive oil.
  6. Place pesto in 2 small plastic containers, drizzle top with additonal oil to form a layer across the top surface.
  7. Cover the entire surface with plastic wrap, laid directly on the surface.
  8. Cover with lid and refrigerate up to 5 days.
  9. Can be frozen for later use.
  10. Cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve some of pasta cooking water to thin the sauce.
  11. Place the cooked pasta in a large bowl, add the pesto. Toss to coat.
  12. Add reserved pasta water to thin the sauce, as needed.
  13. Serve pasta, garnish with grated Parmesan cheese and cayenne pepper, if desired.
Serves: 4 to 6
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Course: Entree,Condiment/Sauce
Type of Food: Pasta Sauce/Meatballs,Vegetarian
Ethnicity/Origin: Italian
Key Ingredient: Pasta,Basil,Nuts,Cheese,Parsley
Difficulty: 3 - Difficult
Make Ahead: Yes
Prep Method: Stovetop,Food Processor

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