Pesto is my natural vocation.
I rode the pesto wave in the 80s, and then I (along with many others) reached a saturation point. We found pesto on our pizza, our sandwiches, our fish, and our chicken. We forgot the all important motto: “moderation in all things.” Our excessive deployment of pesto was unfair to the mighty basil plant and its magical, heady properties. I learned my lessons. Pesto should never come in a jar. Pesto works best with al dente pasta (I always use De Cecco brand). Pesto deserves to be made at home.
After a few years apart, Pesto and I got back together. When your basil is thriving in the dog days of summer, pesto must be made. And despite the derivation of its name (from pestle), I use a food processor.
2 Cups of Basil Leaves (neither loose nor packed)
1 clove of garlic, peeled (many people add much more)
½ Cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Handful of toasted pine nuts
Coarse salt and ground pepper to taste
Extra-virgin olive oil
In a food processor, chop the basil, garlic, and pine nuts until fine. Add salt and pepper. Stir in cheese and add enough oil until it’s the right consistency. Serve with your favorite pasta.
Put on some Talking Heads, don your artfully-cut sweat shirt, and dig in.