Pesto is such a universal sauce – you can use it as a spread on your sandwich, a dip for veggies, or as a pasta sauce. Pair it with a fluffy focaccia bread, or toss it with some fresh pasta for an easy Italian feast.
2.5 oz. basil
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1⁄2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1⁄4 cup Sardinian pecorino cheese
1 oz. pine nuts
2 cloves of garlic
1⁄2 teaspoon coarse salt
Remove all fresh basil leaves from the stems, then wash and blot dry leaves very well. Cut the garlic cloves in half and place them in a marble mortar. Work the garlic with a pestle until you get a paste-like consistency. Add the pine nuts and continue to grind until the mixture begins to become smooth. Add the basil leaves and coarse salt.
NOTE: When working with a mortar and pestle, always start with pounding movements then move on to circular movements. Make sure to scrape around the inside of the mortar periodically with a spoon to unstick the ingredients and to get a smooth pesto.
Once the consistency is creamy, add the Sardinian pecorino in chunks and grind in the same way, then add the Parmigiano Reggiano. When all ingredients have been reduced to a smooth texture, pour in the oil, and circle the pestle until the oil is well incorporated.
If you don’t have time to grind the pesto with a mortar and pestle, pulsing it in a blender or food processor can also work. However, putting in the extra time and elbow grease does make a notable difference.
Rosso Italian is located at 2 E Jefferson St, STE 113, Phoenix, AZ 85004. Contact them at (602) 218-6001.
Find more delicious meals like this pesto recipe in Green Living Magazine’s Savor section.