My life lately has been pretty hectic. Work full time during the day, go to school at night and work on WindsorEats in between. Eating has kinda fallen by the wayside. So when I do get a chance to cook a meal at home, it’s got to be pretty dam quick and easy. Enter pesto.
My mom made up a batch last week and gave me a few little containers to store in my freezer. As long as I have pasta in the house, preferrably linguine which is tradionally used, I’m guaranteed a meal.
Yesterday was one of those days. This time instead of the linguine, I used cheese tortellini. Once the pasta was cooked I added a spoonful of pesto, gently mixed it together, then grated some Parmigiano Reggiano overtop. Mmmmmm.
I don’t like to overdo it with the pesto either. A little dollop will do ya. It should lightly coat the pasta and not overwhelm it. Sometimes less equals more, if you know what I mean.
Pesto is super quick and easy to make. Store it in the freezer in little containers and you have the makings of a quick and easy pasta dish. Like any Italian dish, everyone makes their pesto a little different or adds their own unique twist to it. Here’s how my mom makes it!
4 cups basil leaves, well packed
4 cloves garlic, lightly crushed and peeled
1 cup pine nuts
1-1/2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino cheese (or a combination of the two)
1-1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Throw the basil, pine nuts, garlic and parmeggiano into a food processor or blender. Start blending then slowly add the olive oil until you get a creamy consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste. I find that the Parmeggiano has enough salt in it so I usuallly skip adding any extra and just add it later if it’s needed. If you’re going to freeze it, put it in an air tight container and pour a little olive oil on top to keep the sauce from turning brown. This recipe usually makes about 3 1/2 cups.
Now just because I’ve used measurements don’t feel like you have to stick to them. Like most Italian recipes, as long as it tastes good you can add as much or as little of anything as you like until you come up with a pesto sauce you love. Experimenting always makes much more fun!