Impending Frost: Time for Pesto


It is official, frost may happen this weekend.  Leave in the kale and root veggies, harvest your basil!  When you have got oodles of basil on your counter making the whole house smell like a Sicilian garden, it is time to make pesto.

Photo by Ali Sundik

Tried and True Pesto Recipe
Adapted from
Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking

I have owned this cookbook for over 20 years, I have made this recipe and given it away to people countless times.  Marcella Hazan book is my go-to source for Italian cooking questions.

Pesto Base
2 cups fresh basil
1/2 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp pine nuts
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp salt

Add the above ingredients to your blender and process until almost smooth.  If using immediately, mix in the ingredients below by hand until smooth.

Otherwise, freeze the pesto base in freezer-safe, storage containers.  Add the remaining ingredients when you are ready to use your pesto in  a recipe.  If packaged correctly, pesto can be frozen for up to 8 months.

Finshed Pesto
1 recipe of pesto base (above)
1/2 cup Parmesan, grated
2 Tbsp Romano cheese, grated
3 Tbsp butter, softened (not melted)

To complete the pesto, use a spoon to mix together the pesto base and the remaining ingredients.  Stir until smooth and evenly blended.

When finishing a pasta dish with pesto add a few spoonfuls of starchy pasta water to it to thin the sauce.  Pesto is also delicious served on bread slices and even spooned into jarred tomato sauce.

In the frigid nights of February, nothing brightens the mood and the table like some sun-kissed basil pesto!

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