chow italia! pesto

If I had piles of money, I think I’d buy a food truck and paint Pesto Manifesto! on the side. It would exclusively sell all sorts of different pesto sauces; traditional pine nut, almond, walnut, nut-free (avocado pesto, anyone?)… and I’d whip up a daily dish for the lunchtime crowd.  Retirement strategy aside, my Italian’s mama gave me the recipe so I hope you will try this perfect pesto for 2, which can easily be doubled or tripled to feed more.

| Ingredients |

2 cups gently packed basil leaves (for Kale Pesto sub 1 cup of washed kale for 1 cup basil)
1/4 cup pine nuts
5 walnuts
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic
 (the larger the better in my opinion)
1/8 teaspoon salt 
+ a pinch to add at the end (add more to taste if needed)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil + possibly a bit more to get your desired consistency.

| Instructions |

I use a blender and it always works well but, trust me, you want to put the basil in first. Not the nuts. Everything will blend better.
Then, for the love of Italy, do not (as most recipes will tell you) blender the cheese with all of the above ingredients. Leave the parm to the end and gently fold it in to the mix.
Don’t fret if your pesto is “too smooth” as Mario likes to say. I say, who the hell cares?! Chunky or pasty, it all tastes the same and really comes down to the type of mixer you use.

Buon appetito!

Centre image courtesy of Green Kitchen Travels.