P(r)esto!: The Magic of Pesto

Pesto: What is it? and What you can do with it.

Pesto is an Italian sauce that is very versatile, and can be used in numerous dishes and snacks. Pasta and bread are just two uses for this vibrant green sauce.

Let’s start with a short history lesson of pesto. Dating back thousands of years, the ancient Romans ate the ancestor of this sauce called moretum. This consisted of vinegar, crushed garlic, cheese, salt, herbs, and olive oil. Centuries later during the Middle Ages a Genoan’s made a sauce that was very similar, but walnuts were added to the combination. Fast forwards a couple more centuries to the mid 1800’s and that was when the pesto we all know today, was in fact created.

How do you make pesto?

The ingredient list for pesto is simple:

2-3 cloves of garlic

2 cups of basil

1/3 cup of pine nuts

1/2 cup of parmesan

Olive oil

Salt and Pepper

1. Use a food processor or a blender and combine your basil and pine nuts. Pulse.

2. Put your garlic and cheese into the mix and pulse again.

Make sure to scrape the sides of the blender to get every last bit. 

3. Slowly pour in your olive oil until you get a smooth texture. Season with salt and pepper, taste, and store in the refrigerator.

The longer you leave the pesto at room temperature, the darker it gets. 

What YOU can do with Pesto

Recipe #1: Toasted ciabatta bread with fresh mozzarella, marinated cherry tomatoes, and pesto

Ingredients:

Ciabatta bread

Mozzarella cheese (log)

Cherry tomatoes

Garlic

Pine nuts

Parmesan

Basil

Olive Oil

Rosemary and Thyme

 

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. Marinate your tomatoes, slice the cherry tomatoes in halves, place in a large ziploc bag. Next, peel garlic and pierce the clove with a knife and throw in the bag along with some sprigs of rosemary and thyme. (Depending on how many tomatoes you use, the number of cloves of garlic can change). Place in the fridge for 30 minutes. If you leave them for a longer amount of time the better the flavor will be.

Step 2: Make your pesto using the following directions above. Once done place in refrigerator right away.

Step 3: Drizzle a very small amount of olive oil on your bread and place in the oven, flip every minute. Feel the bread until it has a nice crunchy texture.

Step 4: Slice your mozzarella log, spread your pesto on your toasted bread, then place nice slices of the mozzarella on top, scoop some of your marinated cherry tomatoes over your cheese, season with salt and pepper, and you are ready to eat!

Recipe #2: Pesto Fettuccine 

Ingredients:

Fettuccine

Garlic

Olive oil

Pine nuts

Basil

Parsley

Parmesan

Salt and Pepper

  • First, bring water to a boil, add salt and olive oil.
  • Then place pasta in the boiling water and cook 10-12 minutes
  •  After your pasta is in the water, make your pesto. Finely chop some parsley.
  • Put your pasta in a large bowl and pour your pesto on top. Mix until the pasta has absorbed some of the pesto.
  • Serve, garnish with parmesan and parsley.
  • Eat!

 

 

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