Basil Pesto Sauce

This is a pesto recipe I made up from a combination of many recipes I’ve seen and used in the past. This one has a key ingredient taught to me from a long time friend who is an amazing chef. Thanks Peggy! It made a big difference adding the butter at the end!

Another key to making great Pesto is to start with the best ingredients. The most important being a good quality olive oil. For this recipe I used an imported Italian olive oil from Pruneti.  Pruneti is an olive oil company straight out of Tuscany! You can find a good quality extra virgin olive oil in any grocery store.

Basil Pesto Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup fresh parsley
4-6 cloves roasted garlic (see method below)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts (or almond slivers)
2 Tbls butter (room temp/softened)
1 Tbls salt

Note: this recipe makes about 1 cup of pesto.

Basil Pesto Method:
Although it is not required that you roast the garlic for this recipe, it really adds a deep flavor that I absolutely love. If you are short on time simply use fresh garlic, it will still be great.

Start by cutting the top off a full bulb of garlic.

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Drizzle the top with olive oil and sprinkle it with salt. Wrap in foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes. Remove and let cool. Squeeze the bulb and the roasted cloves will pop right out!

Place the basil, parsley, garlic, pine nuts, parmesan cheese and salt in a blender and pulse until incorporated.

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Slowly add the olive oil until all is incorporated. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides a few times.  Right at the end, add the softened butter and blend until incorporated.  This really adds a great touch! If you like a thinner sauce, simply add more oil, for thicker more paste-like sauce, use less olive oil.

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I used this on a pesto pizza and my daughter told me it was the best pizza she has ever eaten!

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Visit http://www.sundaywithachanceofmeatballs.com for more great recipes!

Ciao, Mike.

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