Pesto is a sauce blended with the flavour of fresh basil, pine nut, garlic and cheese. It is originated mainly in Northern Italy and frequently used in Italian cuisine, mainly in pasta dishes. It works as a key ingredient for various other savoury recipes as well. Given its exquisite taste, Pesto is quite easy to prepare. The authentic way is to grind all the ingredients, except cheese, in a marble mortar with wooden pestle. But you can make it in a food processor also.
Ingredients for 1 cup:
- Shredded fresh basil – 2 cups packed
- Extra-virgin olive oil – 2/3 cup
- Pine nut (preferably Italian/Spanish) – ¼ cup
- Minced garlic – 3 cloves
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese – ½ cup
- Freshly grated Romano cheese – 2 tbspoon
- Salt to taste
Place the basil, olive oil, pine nuts, garlic and generous pinch of salt in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Scrape the mixture into a bowl and stir in the cheeses.
Pesto can also be preserved for few months. In that case use ½ cup of oil while making the paste, mix the cheese and then transfer to an air tight container. Then drizzle the remaining oil over the top and refrigerate it for up to 3 months.