Saint Patricks Day is a good time to finish up your root vegetables and start dusting off your spring recipes. Local produce is on it’s way and lighter meals are easier to put together. I’m not Irish, and I know passing up corned beef and cabbage is probably committing some kind of crime, but today I’m serving pasta with homemade pesto. Being green, it at least fits the color scheme…
1 cup fresh basil loosely packed (the picture shows more like 2 cups)
1/3 to 1/2 cup pine nuts
2-3 cloves garlic
1/4 to 1/3 cup olive oil
Start by rinsing your basil (organic just needs a light spray) and remove the leaves from the stem (if you purchased on-stem basil).
Mmm garlic. I bet 98% of the dishes I make include it. Smash, remove the peels, and roughly chop. Place it in the food processor right on top of the basil .
Add the garlic right on top…
It’s so good, it deserved two pictures.
The last step is to add your olive oil in slowly, by shifts. Add a few tablespoons, then process until smooth, add a few more tablespoons and process, etc. until you get the consistency you want. I like my pesto a bit thicker and less oily so I only add about 1/4cup of oil. Adding more is fine, just remember the more oil you add the more you are cutting down the flavor concentration of the basil/garlic/parm/pine nut mixture.
This is a great make ahead meal. And it’s not dinnertime yet. So I use an empty ice cube tray and spoon my pesto in, making sure to leave a little room on top for expansion. The pesto will freeze great, you don’t even need to cover the tray, and it will last at least a month. Now all you have to do is cook some pasta and pop out a few cubes of pesto and add one to each serving. I often spoon a bit of the hot pasta water into the bowl with the pesto too just to make sure it has enough moisture to cling to the noodles.
If my green pesto isn’t enough to make this post Irish, here’s some Irish proverbs I found to help it along…
A cabin with plenty of food is better than a hungry castle
Here’s to eyes in your heads and none in your spuds.
Get down on your knees and thank God you’re still on your feet.