Christmas Eve I was feeling a bit creative. There was this pesto plant left over from a project in the fall just hanging on. The poor little thing was perched in among all of the Christmas plants looking quite out of place. The thought of Christmas Eve pesto with pasta was suddenly quite clear in my minds eye.. A noble end for a plant that saw us through so many various dishes of Heirloom tomatoes with mozzarella, garnish for summer soups and appetizers.
I assembled my tools: A very senior food processor, basil plant, olive oil, pine nuts, garlic, Parmesan and Romano cheese, and my Silver Palette Cookbook (favorite go to book).
Here is the recipe:
2-3 cups of fresh basil leaves, thoroughly washed and patted dry
4 good size garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 cup pine nuts (pignolas) or shelled walnuts
1 cup best quality olive oil
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (imported if you can find)
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese (imported if you can find)
Salt and Pepper to taste (Optional for special diets).
Combine the basil, garlic and nuts into the bowl of a food processor-or halve the recipe into a blender-and chop.
Leave the motor running and add the olive oil in a slow, steady, stream.
Shut off the motor, add the cheeses, a big pinch of salt and a liberal grinding of pepper (optional). Process briefly to combine, then scrape out into a bowl and cover until ready to use.
2 cups, enough to sauce 2 pounds of pasta.
I served it over Beef Bolognese Ravioli from Trader Joe’s with a salad and bread. It was good if I do say so myself. You will have to imagine the photograph of the final meal as I was so excited to have made pesto I forgot to document the result.
I put the balance into small canning jars as a gift to a special friend. You can keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days or freeze in ice cube trays for use later on in the winter and spring.
Dedicated to out of season Basil plants.