For me pesto evokes something more than just the rich luxury of basil, pine nuts and hard granular cheese, but the beginning of a journey into childhood summers spent in Genoa, the birthplace of this deliciously full-bodied but delicate sauce. Pesto colours my memories in a green vibrant hue. In many ways the city embodies the sauce – a lifting, intense and embracing sauce.
Pesto – makes two small jars
- Wash 90g basil and shake of the excess water. Remove the leaves from the stalks and roughly chop
- Chop 30g pecorino and 30g parmesan (or 60g of one) into small pieces
- In a blender add the basil leaves, cheese and 70g pine nuts
- Turn on and slowly pour 120ml olive oil down the funnel. Check regularly by stirring the mixture until you have a good consistency
- Spoon into jars, compact the mixture with the back of a spoon to remove any air pockets and cover with a thin layer of olive oil to preserve (do this every time you use the pesto)
- Keep in the fridge and use within two weeks (keeps longer, but the flavour becomes stronger)
Bored of pesto with pasta? Use a spoon full in risotto and soup. Try stuffing a chicken breast with pesto and bake in the oven with a Parmesan crust. Comment below if you have any other ideas!