Pesto Sauce

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Pesto is a sauce made with fresh basil, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, and high-quality olive oil. In fact, the olive oil you use makes all the difference in a pesto sauce recipe. After the ingredients are processed together you have a sauce that has everything. Pesto smells great, it is herbaceous, salty, nutty, cheesy and has good mouthfeel. In addition to that, it can elevate almost anything, especially starches like pasta and crusty bread. This green-hued sauce from Liguria is one of Italy’s most prized sauces. The exact origin is unknown but it is believed that pesto is a more evolved version of Salsa di Noci (walnut sauce) from the Middle Ages. In the year 1627, Salvatore Massonio mentioned the sauce in an essay and a pesto sauce recipe most similar to what is prepared today was mentioned in Giovan Battista Ratto’s “La Cuciniera Genovese” in the late 1800s.

Place of Origin: Recipe difficulty:
Italy Easy
Preparation Time: Cook Time:
10 minutes 0 minutes
Yields: 1 cup of sauce, servings vary

!!!! Ingredients

  • 6 oz. fresh basil leaves
  • ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil (get the best you can find)
  • Kosher salt

How to Make !!!!?

!!!! Sauce – Step by Step Instructions:

1. Add about half of the basil, cheese and pine nuts in a blender or food processor.
2. Season with a little salt and process/blend until finely chopped.
3. Add the remaining basil, cheese and pine nuts along with the garlic and another pinch of salt.
4. Process or blend until a paste is achieved. Be sure to scrape the sides occasionally.
5. Run the blender or food processor as you deliver a steady stream of olive oil to the basil, cheese, and nut mixture. Use less oil for a thicker sauce and more for a thinner pesto.
6. Scrape the sides and process/blend again until the desired consistency is achieved.
7. Taste and adjust (you may want more garlic, cheese, pine nuts or salt).
8. Use immediately or transfer to an airtight container prior to refrigerating. Pesto will stay fresh for up to a week.

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Ideas to Use – !!!

One way to serve pesto is tossing it in pasta using some starchy pasta water to bind the sauce to the pasta. Another way to use pesto is as a spread. Just use a little less oil and you have a pesto spread. Everyone must try a chicken pesto sandwich on ciabatta. Pesto pizza is another option along with pesto meatballs and burgers.

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!!! is fit for:

Vegetarian, vegan, low fat, low carb, paleo and ketogenic diets.

This pesto sauce recipe leaves a lot of room for editing. Other greens like spinach can be used along with or in place of the basil to change up the flavor (you have to give kale a try), almonds or walnuts can replace the pine nuts and you can add almost any hard cheese you want. Another idea is loading the pesto with garlic if you wish or adding roasted garlic for a sweeter more caramelized layer of garlic flavor.

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Category: Savory sauces

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