Pesto / pistou recipes

I measured mine yesterday since I really had no clue.

5 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp. salt
3 oz. Reggiano
1/2 cup olive oil
1 bunch basil

All amounts are highly approximate depending on how much garlic you like and how big your bunch of basil is. I like hard-stemmed red garlic and fruity green olive oil such as Trader Joe’s Kalamata.

Put salt in a mortar, press the garlic into the mortar, mash with the pestle until smooth, cover with a layer of olive oil, and let sit for at least half an hour.

Microplane the Reggiano into the bowl of a food processor. Add the garlic mixture and oil and process, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl, until emulsified and creamy.

Pull the basil leaves off the stems and put into the bowl. Pulse, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl, until finely chopped. Do not process until the leaves exude liquid as that will make the pesto bitter.

Warm serving bowl, add drained hot pasta, and mix with pesto to taste, adjusting seasoning to taste.

If you have leftover pesto, cover with a layer of olive oil to prevent mold and store in the refrigerator. This can keep for months, though eventually the oil will go rancid.

No matter how one makes pesto, always, and I mean always, use a mortar and pestle.

Just like when one makes hamburger patties at home, always, and I mean always, “grind” the meat using hand-and-cleaver. The extra sweat and labor pays off.

My technique is the result of years of experimentation. I found the mortar and pestle produced inferior results, albeit better than the food processor if you overdo it and partially liquefy the basil.

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I think the mortar and pestle thing is overrated.

I will tend to disagree . I have used the food processor , and blender . Using the mortar and pestle provides a smoother texture . It’s a lot more work . Both ways provide the same flavor profile though . My two cents .

My method is atypically (for me) deconstructed, reconstructed, and modernist. Making an emulsion of the garlic purée, oil, and Reggiano reorders the traditional steps.

I would like to learn your process. I have no doubt. When the basil leaves exclude there liquid before processing I didn’t understand that part. I did like the picture of the pasta . Not overdressed in pesto .

Except for the flecks of basil the sauce is the same color as the pasta, so it looks like there’s less on there than it would with a recipe where the pasta turns green.

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