After quite a wild time, I'm back in my kitchen and determined to tell You about something special. Considering how useful, and delicious, pesto can be, making it at home is quite a good idea. Of course, You can buy it, but food made with our own hands is a different quality altogether.

Pesto is a sauce, or a condiment - it depends on what do You mean by those words, really - that originated somewhere between today's France and Italy. There are numerous versions, since the name refers to anything that is made by pounding or grinding in a mortar. The word 'pestle' comes from the same root. This is the recipe for pesto alla genovese, or 'green' pesto.
Ingredients :
  • Fresh basil - at least 20 leaves
  • Olive oil - a teaspoon, hardly more
  • Parmesan, grana or peccorino cheese - two spoonfuls of grated cheese
  • Cashew or pine nuts (optional)
Tools :
The exact amount of these depends on how much pesto You want to make, but it takes a lot of basil. Be ready to sacrifice a whole plant, since the quantities given above result in three spoonfuls.  And if You don't have any fresh basil, don't try to make pesto from dried leaves.  It won't work, so You'll only be wasting time and effort.
Preparation :
Making pesto is actually very easy. It only takes a lot of patience, but there's nothing complicated about it. Rip the leaves into small pieces, and be sure to do it by hand. If  You use a knife, the ethereal oil will evaporate faster and the herb will lose its aroma. Put them in the mortar. If You want to add nuts, do it now. Pour a drop of olive oil - not much, because the leaves will only swim around then - and start grinding. This will take some time, so it's best to make it while You have something else to think about, or if You are watching a movie. Slowly, patiently, grins the leaves using a circular motion. When the contents of the mortar start to blend, grate the cheese and add it to the mixture. Proceed with grinding until the ingredients produce a shiny, dark-green mass.
Pesto can be served on its own, on sandwiches and in salads, or added to other dishes. It can be poured onto hot pasta and serve as a sauce all of its own, but it can also be added to, for example, napoli sauce, to produce a new interesting dish. It is of great help when decorating food or preparing party dips and canapes. I'm sure that as Kitchen Witchcraft progresses, You will be seeing it on the ingredient list from time to time.

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