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October 11, 2011

Pesto – Homemade

by Anne Paddock

Pesto makes pasta dishes special and takes soups from good to great. My friends, Jim and Sheila grow basil – the most important ingredient in pesto – in their garden and gave me the following recipe for “Blender Pesto” which is the most delicious pesto I’ve ever tasted:

Homemade Pesto
2 cups of fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup of olive oil (I use Columela or Seggiano Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
2 tablespoons of toasted pine nuts
1/2 clove of elephant garlic*, crushed
1 teaspoon saltPesto
*The original recipe calls for 2 cloves of garlic but I prefer elephant garlic whose cloves are larger but milder in taste.  If you prefer a normal garlic clove, use it.
  • Put the basil, olive oil, pine nuts, garlic, and salt in the blender and mix, stopping to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula.
  • Blend the pesto with pasta and serve or add 1/4 cup of the pesto to a large pot of homemade vegetable soup. Cover and place the remainder in the refrigerator for use later in the week.

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