Posted in Recipe Box, Sauces, Dressings and Condiments

Homemade Garden Pesto w/Pistachio & Pine Nuts

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Looking for an easy sauce that won’t require hours of slaving over a hot stove, want to ditch your normal marinara sauce for something bold with lots of flavor, that will take under ten minutes to make using all fresh ingredients.

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Pesto is a sauce originating in Genoa in the Liguria region of northern Italy, and consists of garlic, basil, and pine nuts blended with olive oil, Parmigiano Reggiano, and Fiore Sardo. The name “pesto” is from the Genoese word pestâ , which means to pound, to crush, in reference to the original method of preparation, with marble mortar and wooden pestle. The ingredients in a traditionally made pesto are ground with a circular motion of the pestle in the mortar.

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Now in ancient Roman times they ate a paste called moretum, made by crushing cheese, garlic and herbs together. The Ligurians around Genoa adapted this sauce combing basil, crushed garlic, grated hard cheese, and pine nuts with a little olive oil to form pesto. In French Provence, the dish evolved into modern pistou, that combined basil, parsley, crushed garlic, and grated cheese. Pine nuts are not included.

In 1944, The New York Times mentioned an imported canned pesto paste. In 1946, Sunset magazine published a pesto recipe by Angelo Pellegrini. Pesto did not become popular in North America until the 1980s and 1990s.

Pesto is one of Italy’s most prized sauces, this fragrant, treasure features the star of Italian herbs “basil”. Perfect for putting into your favorite recipes with its bold flavor, pesto is more than just a pasta sauce.
It’s easy to make a great pesto, for some using a mortar and pestle is crucial as mashing the ingredients into pesto gives it a more rustic look. However in today’s kitchen a mortar and pestle are not common kitchen gadgets as most people have a blender or food processor.

Make too much pesto? No problem, just freeze it in freezer proof containers or ice cube trays.
Make too much pesto? No problem, just freeze it in freezer proof containers or ice cube trays.

The base recipe for Pesto sauce has also been adapted and taken on various changes. As some of you may not know pine nuts can run as high as $22.00 a pound, I’ve read many recipes will call for walnuts instead. Also Italian parsley and fresh lemons are also used. In my recipe I used both pine nuts and pistachio nuts and I really liked this combination. So use pine, walnut, pistachio, add parsley, arugula with the basil, this sauce really is a no brainer so get creative with your favorite ingredients.

 

Ingredients:

4-5 cups fresh basil leaves; stems removed rinsed and lightly dried between paper towels

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6-9 cloves of garlic. (use less if you don’t want a strong garlic taste)

Pulse using a food processor the garlic and about 1 tsp of good salt
Pulse using a food processor the garlic and about 1 tsp of good salt

Toast nuts over med-high heat for about 3-5 minutes. watch carefully or they will burn or scorch in a matter of seconds.
Toast nuts over med-high heat for about 3-5 minutes. watch carefully or they will burn or scorch in a matter of seconds.
While the nuts are cooling add basil leaves and give it 5-7 good pulses.
While the nuts are cooling add basil leaves and give it 5-7 good pulses

1/2 c grated parmesan cheese

1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/4 cup pistachios, toasted

Add cooled nuts and cheese and pulse again. you should have a thick paste.
Add cooled nuts and cheese and pulse again. you should have a thick paste.

1 to 1 1/2 cup olive oil use extra virgin olive oil, or a good mediterranean olive oil

Now while running on low slowly pour in olive oil, and watch your fragrant pesto come alive.
Now while running on low slowly pour in olive oil, and watch your fragrant pesto come alive.

Salt & pepper to taste

 

Pesto should have a thick consistency and not runny.
Pesto should have a thick consistency and not runny.
You want a consistency similar to this.
You want a consistency similar to this.

 

 

Pesto should not be runny or have a soup like appearance.
Pesto should not be runny or have a soup like appearance.
Warm it up and pour over your favorite pasta.
Warm it up and pour over your favorite pasta.

In the U.S., pesto has become more than just a sauce for pasta, but an ingredient in many dishes. Here are a few examples of how to showcase pesto in your recipes.

Add to your Caprese salad.
Add to your Caprese salad.

 

 

Gnocchi anyone??
Gnocchi anyone??

 

 

Kick up your lasagna a notch by using pesto in place of marinara sauce.
Kick up your lasagna a notch by using pesto in place of marinara sauce.

 

Pizza with pesto is simply AMAZING!!!
Pizza with pesto is simply AMAZING!!!

 

Ditch the jar of mayo for pesto next time you make a killer sammich!
Ditch the jar of mayo for pesto next time you make a killer sammich!

 

As you can see the possibilities are endless and my stomach is full!!!

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Author:

Clarissa Ellis grew up learning to cook with her mom. In a time where traditional home-cooked food was going out of style, Clarissa learned to love and make those simple 'comfort foods' and family favorites. As she grew - and her mom got busier with long work hours, Clarissa supported her mom by taking over most of the cooking duties around the home. By the time Clarissa started high school - she had absorbed her mother's approach to traditional, homestyle Italian dishes; and thanks to So Cal's great weather year round... a love of cooking on the grill. Fast forward 30 years and Clarissa has never stopped cooking. She continued to explore food, learning more from So Cal's amazing cultural variety, trying things out on her family and her friends... and always learning. Never content to merely cook a good meal, Clarissa developed the habit of talking sharing her ideas with family, friends and coworkers. After a lifetime of learning and experimenting, Clarissa's love affair with traditional Italian cooking, and 'comfort foods' has grown into a robust, creative and cross-cultural approach to cooking that still manages to remain 'accessible' to the rest of us. Now Clarissa brings her experience and her approach online through her blog - giving all of us a chance give ourselves, our friends and our family the benefits of a lifetime of passion and joy in cooking simply great meals.

9 thoughts on “Homemade Garden Pesto w/Pistachio & Pine Nuts

  1. This is a wonderful sounding recipe! I use pine nuts and will enjoy trying to make this! I was falling way behind on reading your posts! Thank you for sticking around mine, even while I got sidetracked!

    Like

    1. Hi Jahal,
      Pesto makes a much better sandwich spread then plain ole mayo or you could add a spoon of pesto to a little mayo and really give your sandwich a bang!!!
      As always my friend thank you for your kind comments.
      🙂
      ~C

      Like

  2. That looks and sounds delicious and all of those ingredients are awesome for the body’s health too – Only you can make me hungry right after I’ve eaten – stop it! LOL Love your blog!

    Like

      1. Ditto – Happy Thanksgiving – and I’m going to save your Turkey Tips – so when I finally get to host a Thanksgiving I’ll know what I’m doing LOL – you’re awesome~have a wonderful day!~

        Like

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