Pesto (a recipe Italian-style)

My maternal grandmother is 100% Italian and a cook by trade, so you can imagine she makes the most delicious food. One thing that is frustrating about it is that she cooks entirely by instinct for all of her signature dishes, and even if she tries to write it down just the way she does it, it never comes out the same for anyone else. She makes the world’s most delicious homemade ravioli and also pierogies (she married a Polish man, so she learned to cook Polish food as well.) Anyhow, when she relates how to make something, it does not come out in standard recipe form. In her honor (and because, I really do make it with taste and texture as my guides:

fresh garlic
fresh basil
pine nuts, roasted (you can buy them this way or roast them yourself)
parmesean cheese
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

In a food processor or blender chop up at least 3 cloves of garlic, a whole lot of basil (if you have a Trader Joes, about a whole TJs clamshell worth, I think ~40 medium to extra large leaves), and 3-4 ounces of pine nuts. Add olive oil to make it a good consistency. Add parmesean cheese to taste (1/2 a cup?) and a wee bit of salt and pepper. This will make enough pesto for at LEAST two pounds of pasta. Pesto freezes well and keeps in the fridge for a while, too.

2 responses to “Pesto (a recipe Italian-style)

  1. Kristen, this will be year three for my pesto making. I grow basil so which helps the cost. I use the same recipe, except I add a wee little lemon juice to the mix.

    I freeze the pesto in ice cube trays and transfer to ziplock bags. I pop a cube in homemade pizza sauce, veggie stirfry, pasta, etc.

    Now about pierogies: oooooh! My SIl is Polish. Her mom, just like your grandmother, enjoyed cooking and feeding her people. Val has made pierogies at my house that have been scrumptious.

    Do you know what I’d do to get a Trader Joe’s to my small town? The closest one is 4 1/2 hours away. Sigh.

  2. Sounds yummy! I almost bought pesto at TJ’s today but then noted something in it C is allergic to, can’t recall what. I’ll try your recipe. :)

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