Genovese pesto (Pesto alla genovese)

As said few posts ago it's time for basil: what recipe can give all the best from this herb if not Genovese pesto?

It's worldwide famous but often the one you buy at supermarket is: expensive, made with low quality oils, low percentage of basil or dried basil, cashew nuts instead of pine-kernels.

Having a good and healthy pesto is not that difficult, so why don't you give a try?

To prepare a real pesto you should have a lot of patience and a marble mortar and pestle.
Probably you don't have it (I don't have it!) and then I'll give a quick solution at the end of the recipe, but it's an Italian kitchen blog so let's have the traditional recipe first!

Ingredients / 6 persons:

about 20 oz.. pasta ( trofie as seen in the photo are the best but you can also use linguini, spaghetti, gnocchi, penne)

a big bunch of fresh basil (tradition says 30 basil leaves each garlic clove, of course it's up to you at the end)

a glass of extravirgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves

1 spoon pine-kernels

3 spoons of grated cheese ( parmesan, grana padano or pecorino from tuscany, sicily or sardinia: your choice)

a little salt

Important things to know before starting: you should end the preparation as soon as possible to avoid oxidation and having it at enviroment temperature.

Wash basil leaves in cold water, let them dry on a kitchen napkin.

Put a garlic clove in the mortar, crush it and then add, little by little, the leaves: the movement of the pestle should be round and gentle, you haven't to crash leaves, it's the only way to let basil's essential oils spread at their best.

Add salt (big grains, just some).

When you see a green juice comes from leaves it's time to add pine-kernels: they help to mix the sauce and give a gentle flavour.

Turn pestle again and again and then you can add cheese and oil very slowly while mixing.

Now your pesto is ready to give taste to your dish, just remember to save some spoons of the cooking water when drain the pasta: they'll help amalgamating pesto sauce and pasta and have a creamy and soft Italia dish.

Ok now...What can you do if you don't have a mortar and/or no time to act like a 19th century cook?

Whas the leaves, put all the ingredients into a mixer and then mix untill you have a fine cream.

Not to much or the basil and oil become hot with the mixer's turning and it's really bad.

It's not the perfect way of which a Ligurian would be proud of , but it's good enough to invite your friend for dinner and save your wallet and your health in a tasty way!

Nessun commento:

Posta un commento