Monday, June 23, 2014

Homemade Pesto

If you like pesto and haven't ever tried to make it yourself, it is time. Ever since a coworker gave me this pesto recipe years ago, I have not found a store-bought pesto that I like as well as this. Pesto is a simple and marvelous thing. It makes pasta, vegetables, tomato soup, and yes, even some pizzas, taste even better than before. Best of all, it is inexpensive and really easy to make.

So without further ado, here it is:

Homemade Pesto

1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts or walnuts (I prefer walnuts)
1 large clove garlic, quartered (if you don't have any fresh garlic on hand, you can sprinkle a dash of garlic
    salt in there instead)
1/4 cup olive oil

Blend all ingredients in a food processor or a blender until it forms a smoothish paste. This is plenty of pesto for about 6 oz of pasta with chopped veggies. How much pesto you put into your pasta, veggies, soup, etc is really up to you and how strong of a pesto flavor you prefer. I would start by putting in a little pesto to whatever you are using it for, stirring everything up, tasting it, and then repeating until you have the flavor the way you like it. 

So I took several pictures of the finished pesto, but I couldn't bring myself to post any of them on the blog. Pesto by itself just looks gross. It is green and pasty. So instead, here are some pictures of the pasta and veggies that I made to go with the pesto.

I chopped up some baby spinach and tomatoes and grated some carrots. (This is also really good with chopped zucchini and yellow squash.)

Then I sauteed the tomatoes a couple of minutes and added the carrots and spinach until the spinach wilted a bit.

Finally, I added a few ounces of pasta and stirred in the pesto until it tasted heavenly.


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