This recipe originated when I was Chef at Steven Restaurant in Scottsdale Arizona.
We used this to toss with pasta, marinate chicken breasts, mix in meatballs, add to sauces, create herb marinades and compound butters.
It is easy to see how by changing some herbs you can create a whole new taste. Try substituting rosemary instead of oregano and add some fresh thyme!
Don't like the nuts, simply leave them out and add more cheese. Why not create a Greek version with Feta and Olives! I better stop! If you want these versions I would be happy to add them to the posts! Just let me know!
Ingredients 2 bunch fresh Basil picked 1 bunch fresh Oregano picked 1 oz peeled fresh Garlic 2 oz grated Parmigiano Reggianocheese 1 oz of Walnuts or Pine Nuts Juice of 1 lemon 4 oz good quality Olive Oil
Method In a food processor or blender place the Basil, Oregano, Garlic and Olive Oil.
Blend until chopped fine, if you like a smoother Pesto let it blend or process longer.
Proceed by adding the cheese and then the Walnuts, this will thicken up the mixture.
If you want a looser Pesto add more oil slowly. If you don't care for Oregano substitute 1/2 flat Italian parsley.
Below is a video which shows you the classic way of making Pesto with a Mortaio and Pestello! This creates a texture which is by far superior than blending or processing. Sure its more work but it is a labor of love and may be done as a demonstration before your guests while they enjoy a glass of wine and wait in anticipation for you to create fresh cooked pasta tossed with this wonderful classic sauce.
In order to allow the full release of its aromatic leaves the basil should be crushed by hand in the Mortaio by means of a wooden stick called "Pestello". The movement of the wrist is very important. It should be a round movement, allowing you squeeze the leaves while crushing them. You gradually pour some Extra Virgin Olive Oil, then put some sea salt and again continue with the milling, finally pour in the Parmesan cheese along with the Pine Nuts and some more Olive Oil. The result should be a creamy Pesto, thick but not hard solid.
Here are two more of our favorite traditional Easter dishes. Your web site has definitely brought us down memory lane. Mom & I spend a lot of time talking about all these traditional dishes and when grandma / grandpa would make them.
My Cousin Denise reminded me of the most important Italian Easter traditions which is the baking and decorating of the Lamb Cakes!
My Grandfather and my Father, Jim both created these and sold them in their bakery in Chicago, Sarnos Pastry Shop. The image is from a bakery in St. Louis, which is the closest detail what our family created!
Here the Easter Lamb Cake is simply frosted with a star tube. What I enjoy most are the ones that are covered in fluffy coconut!
You may also color the coconut as well or toast it if you like. Many people don't take the time to dip the head in fondant then finish with a buttercrean then paint the features, you have to do this or your Lamb Cake will look like a Bichon Frise! don't forget the bows!
Serving your creation: Everyone starts from the rear and slices toward the head unless some kid (I'm not saying who) snaps off the ear or even worse cuts from the head! Bless me father for I have sinned, I ate the lamb cake head!