Pesto - Marcella Hazan

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“From the Julia Child of Italian Cooking, this is Marcella Hazan's recipe for pesto. Its the first I've ever tasted and the only one I'll ever use. I've tried other recipes and nothing surpasses this, especially not any you'll get from a restaurant. Quality ingredients are important in simple recipes like this. The aromas in pesto's ingredients are subtle and its flavor varies depending on the brand and quality of the ingredients you choose. Make sure to find the best olive oil, the freshest basil (if it doesn't smell right or fragrant, don't bother using it, it will be a waste of expensive ingredients.) The cheeses mentioned should be sought and used. Use a high quality butter if possible.”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Briefly soak and wash the basil in cold water, and gently pat it thoroughly DRY with paper towels.
  2. Put the basil, olive oil, pine nuts, chopped garlic, and an ample pinch of salt in the processor bowl, and process to a uniform, creamy consistency.
  3. Transfer to a bowl, and mix in the two grated cheeses by hand. It is worth the slight effort to do it by hand to obtain the notably superior texture it produces.
  4. When the cheese has been evenly amalgamated with the other ingredients, mix in the softened butter, distributing it uniformly into the sauce.
  5. When spooning the pesto over pasta, dilute it slightly with a tablespoon or two of the hot water in which the pasta was cooked.
  6. Freezing pesto: Make the sauce through to the end of Step 2, cover with a layer of olive oil and freeze it without cheese and butter in it. Add the cheese and butter when it is thawed, just before serving.

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