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Making Your Own Pesto Sauce

Have you ever noticed just how many Italian recipes call for pesto sauce? While it can be used as either an ingredient or a garnish for just about any kind of Italian dish, the good stuff isn't exactly cheap at the grocery store. Instead of buying it though, you can begin making your own pesto sauce by following this amazingly simple recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan or other Italian style cheese (grated)
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Salt and pepper to taste (typically 1 dash)

Recipe:

  1. Peel and chop garlic. Grab the cloves of garlic, and peel the outer layers off. In many ways this is done in much the same way that you do with an onion. Be careful as you do this, since the cloves typically break up into smaller bulbs, and you don't want to lose anything. When you have the bulbs peeled, go ahead and chop them. Cut the pieces as small as you can without getting too silly about it, typically cutting each bulb into four pieces will be just fine.
  2. Wash and prep basil. Wash the bundle of basil as thoroughly as possible to help remove any remaining dirt, dust, or pesticides that may have gotten on it. With the basil cleaned, go ahead and begin removing the stems as well, using whichever methods is easiest for you.
  3. Mince garlic. Place the chopped garlic into your food processor, and pulse it two or three times. This will give you some nicely minced garlic.
  4. Add dry ingredients. In the same food processor, add the basil, pine nuts, and even the salt and pepper. Hit the pulse a few times to mix it altogether.
  5. Process and drizzle. Turn the processor back on, and slowly drizzle the olive oil over the mix. Continue to allow the processor to work until you have a nice puree.
  6. Add cheese. Turn the processor off, and scrape the sides of the processor container. When you have the majority of the pesto sauce in the bottom of the processor, begin adding the cheese. Make sure that the cheese is grated, and put the cover of the processor back on. Pulse the processor again to mix everything together.

Take a quick taste of the sauce and verify that it is your desired consistency. If it is too thick, you can add a little water (about 1 tablespoon) to thin it out. In the event that it isn't thick enough you can add a little more basil, or cheese, to help thicken it up.

 

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