Probably every cook has a pesto recipe. I know. But, I’ve honestly never found a pesto that I like better than the one I discovered at Chef and Instructor Jeff Sandino’s Italian Cooking Class a few years ago. I’ve taken to calling it Glory Pesto because every time I make it I want to fall to my knees and thank the good Lord for this pesto.
I repeatedly sow basil during the summer – genovese and mammoth, purple and piccolo. Just so I have enough to make endless batches of Glory Pesto throughout the summer. It’s a tough job, I know. 🙂 Next to making Glory Pesto, the pride in sowing, harvesting and processing my own basil is pretty hard to beat.
This week, Kendall and Emma learned to make Glory Pesto. After walking them through one batch, I let them try making a batch on their own. I think they did a great job. I thought I’d share their first experience making Glory Pesto and my Glory Pesto Pasta lunch with you.
Making Glory Pesto
First, I harvest my basil into a large bowl with ice cubes and cold water.
To dry it, I use a tip I learned from cookbook author, Beth Dooley. I place clumps of basil leaves in a flour sack towel and spin it around outside. (Note: You will become a human sprinkler with this method – but it works!)
Check it out; Kendall just experienced the thrill of twirling that basil around out on the deck. The girls are starting to have some fun!
Next, place the basil (I use about 2 cups), olive oil, and pine nuts in the food processor and blend until smooth (about 20 seconds).
Kendall is lining up the rest of the ingredients – parmesan, garlic and salt.
Now it’s time to add some parmesan. First. I start out with some Kraft shredded Parmesan (just saving $ is all)
Then, I add the good stuff – a 1/2 cup of Parmesan Reggiano. Emma gets to try out my new microplane. The girls look a little concerned about this step.
After a minute, she give’s it a try…
Someone has spaghetti arms…
Microplane-ing like a boss, now.
That tuckered Sonny right out.
The cheese is ready to be processed now for about 20 more seconds.
Finish with freshly chopped garlic and a little kosher salt to taste. All done!
One of my favorite uses for pesto is to make a Simple Pesto Pasta.
Boil some noodles. Add the noodles to a large soup kettle. Throw in a dollop or two of pesto, diced tomatoes, and pine nuts. Viola!
Jeff’s tip is to reserve some of the pasta water to add back to the noodles to keep it all perfectly slippery. I usually end up adding about a cup back into the mix.
My favorite lunch is ready. If my friend DA was here, we’d have a fried egg on top.
1-2 cups loosely packed fresh basil
1/4 cup EVOO
1/2 tsp chopped garlic
3 heaping TBS pine nuts (raw)
1/3 c. freshly grated Parmesan
1/3 c. freshly grated Romano
Salt to taste
Place basil and EVOO in processor for 20 seconds until smooth.
Add nuts and process til smooth.
Add cheeses and process until smooth
Finish with the garlic and salt (don’t over-process the garlic or it can become to strong)
Taste and adjust the salt.