From Italy with Love
Pesto alla Genovese
My 5th and last installment from my wonderful trip to
I couldn't have picked a better dish to represent my family and background.
I was able to make this dish with the help of two uncles.
One had large plants of fresh basil already growing hardy in his garden.
The other has old pine trees which supply him with pine nuts!
Look at the height of the pines, you have to wait until the cones drop!
I had to pick each and every pine nut from the pine cone, a sticky and difficult job because the pines are sturdy and tight. Then I had to crack the shell of the nut with a hammer!
Now I know why they cost so much...
The aroma of fresh pine is unmistakable and I knew that bringing them across the ocean would probably cost me that distinct wonderful scent...
so I made the dish in Italy
and savored this classic dish.
Even my Italian sister in law has a mini chopper so, I whizzed the ingredients together instead of using a mortar and pestle...
1lb pasta, your choice
10 large basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
extra virgin olive oil
Bring a large salted pot of water to a boil.
Tip in the pasta.
Stir to prevent the pasta from sticking.
Meanwhile in a small skillet toast the pine nuts on medium high heat, sliding it back and forth across the burner to toss the nuts.
In a mini food processor add the basil, garlic and nuts.
Turn the machine on to blend the ingredients, drizzle olive oil into the feeding tube.
Enough to loosen the mixture, making a thick sauce.
Drain the pasta, reserve a 1/4 cup to loosen the sauce.
Add 1/2 of the pesto, toss in the cheese.
Adjust the sauce if you want a thicker paste.