Saturday, August 28, 2010

Hand-made pesto

There is little better than mashing your own pesto in a stone mortar and pestle; the only thing I can think of is mashing your own pesto from basil you grew yourself. Begin by combining the garlic and salt — the salt will provide coarseness to break up the garlic, and also extract the juices. Then work in the basil, which takes a while. Occasionally, add grated parmesan or romano cheese, which helps absorb extra moisture from the basil. If you have some, pine nuts are also a wonderful addition. When you have made everything into a paste, and only when you have incorporated all other ingredients, add copious amounts of olive oil. The oil, by lubricating everything, makes it much harder to mash the rest, but in addition to tasting good, it helps distribute the pesto evenly over the pasta. Serve with an al dente farfalle and more grated cheese.

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