I was never a big fan of pesto until I went on holiday to Lucca 4 years ago. My friends and I had rented a cottage for a week up in the mountains, so en route we had done a massive food shop and a couple of jars of pesto had been thrown into the trolley.
I always opt to make things from scratch but had I not known, I would have thought this pesto was made fresh that evening and not come from a jar. The olive oil that had been used was sensational!!! For thereon in I became a lover of pesto and began making my own.
Why had I never made my own before?? It is SO easy and a brilliant way to use up basil once it starts to bruise and droop. You can also use it in so many ways – the obvious one being a sauce for hot or cold pasta (you can also add some sundried tomatoes for a burst of colour and flavour), a dressing for a salad, or add some breadcrumbs and you can slap it on some chicken or some lamb! Here’s how to make it.
The prep. part – makes a small jar of the glorious stuff
- 20g/handful of basil, you can use the stems too.
- 50g pine nuts.
- 90ml extra virgin rapeseed oil (I prefer to use rapeseed oil instead of olive oil but either work well).
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled.
- 40g of pecorino romano.
The cooking/assembling part
- No cooking needed. Throw all the ingredients into a blender, bar the oil. Turn on the blender and bit by bit add the oil. Sometimes you may not need to use all the oil.