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Pesto Sauce Times Two

Pesto Sauce Times Two

When Emily was little I decided to plant a garden. Having been raised around gardens I had some idea what I was doing. We tilled up a portion of our yard and ended up with a garden a bit larger than expected. But it was glorious, with flowers, vegetables and herbs. One thing I hadn’t planned was the bounty that would follow. The freezer was packed with vegetables, peppers were turned into jellies. By the end of the summer the herbs were prolific!

I had tons of basil and parsley that led me down the path of making fresh pesto. Traditional pesto starts with basil and toasted pine nuts.

But what to do with all that parsley. So it was pesto times two. The pesto I made with the parsley created a bright and wonderful peppery flavor. And instead of pine nuts I tossed in toasted walnuts.

There are only a handful of key ingredients in pesto so be sure to use a high quality extra virgin olive oil and fresh Parmesan cheese. (If you have that stuff in the green can, put it down!)

Pesto is a great topping on so many kinds of soup or as a spread for sandwiches. It makes a wonderful “no-cook” sauce for hot pasta. Add it straight to the pasta or stir it into an Alfredo or cream sauce. Super simple to pull together, a batch makes enough to toss with about 12 ounces of pasta and keeps refrigerated for two weeks. And no matter which herb you have on hand, pesto is also a surprising addition to dress up vegetables.

Very easy and very versatile!

Basil Pesto

1-1/2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed when measuring

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

¾ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/3 cup toasted pine nuts

Toss the basil leaves, the chopped garlic, kosher salt and black pepper into the bowl of a food processor.

Process for about 10-15 seconds or until the leaves are finely chopped. With the processor running, pour the olive oil through the top opening and process for about 10 seconds. Add the toasted pine nuts, pulse about 10-12 times or until the nuts are finely chopped and blended into the pesto.

Spoon the pesto into a small mixing bowl. Add the Parmesan cheese, stirring to combine.

Toss the fresh pesto with hot basil fettuccine and you’ve got dinner in less than 20 minutes!

Parsley Pesto

1-1/2 cups fresh parsley, stems removed and packed when measuring

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

¾ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/3 cup chopped, toasted walnuts or pecans

Toss the parsley, the chopped garlic, kosher salt and black pepper into the bowl of a food processor. Process for about 10-15 seconds or until the parsley is finely chopped. With the processor running, pour the olive oil through the top opening and process for about 10 seconds. Add the toasted walnuts or pecans, pulse about 10-12 times or until the nuts are finely chopped and blended into the pesto.

Spoon the pesto into a small mixing bowl. Add the Parmesan cheese, stirring to combine.

Stir in 3 tablespoons of pesto into frozen peas to elevate their flavor!



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