- 1 handful walnuts
- 1 handful Italian basil
- 1 small jar of sundried tomatoes (best quality)
- 7-8 kalamata olives
- parmesan (best quality)
- extra virgin olive oil (best quality)
- 6-7 cherry tomatoes (ripe, dark red, juicy find the most flavorful ones)
- 1 teaspoon chopped hot peppers (marinated chilis or fresh red chilis are best, to give a hint of paprika flavor)
- 3 cloves garlic
Wash the basil and get rid of the thickest stems and the flowers, if there are any. Put it in the blender (don’t blend yet, we are making a pile).
Peel the garlic and chop it roughly, fry it in a tiny bit of olive oil. You can substitute the 3 cloves of cooked garlic with 1 small clove of raw garlic if you like. Add the garlic (cooked or raw) to the blender.
Wash the tomatoes and cut them in a half. Put them in the blender.
Take out the sundried tomatoes from their jar, discard extra oil, and… add them in the blender.
Pit your olives and… you know.
Chop the equivalent of a third of a butter stick worth of parmesan in rough pieces (no need to grate it because…).
Add 4 tablespoon of your best olive oil, a generous pinch of salt, your chilis and…
Taste the pesto and add salt, pepper and olive oil to your taste.
To use with pasta
The key here is DON’T COOK THE PESTO it will change the flavours. Boil the pasta and mix it with your beautiful raw pesto in a serving bowl, not on a pan or on the stove.
Pesto will freeze beautifully and keep for a long time. To unfreeze it, let it rest outside the fridge for a few hours. To speed up the process, you can chop the pesto into pieces with a knife (it’s usually pretty soft).
To preserve in the fridge
Transfer your pesto in a tall jar, and level out its surface. Then completely cover the pesto’s surface with a layer of your best olive oil (this will prevent the pesto from oxidizing).
Play with this recipe
Increase the amount of basil (four times) and don’t use olives or sun-dried tomatoes for a more classic green pesto. Add chives, ramps (!!), or fresh parsley for variations on herbaceous flavors. Substitute walnuts for cashews for a creamier buttery taste or almonds for a drier fresher take. Take out the fresh tomatoes and double or triple the amount of olive oil for a more traditional Italian version (too heavy on the vegetable fats for me, but deeeeelicious).
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