Sunday, May 31, 2009

CJ's Pesto

Well, it turns out this is really Marcella Hazan's pesto recipe, but since it was passed down to me almost twenty years ago by the lovely and inimitable Courtia Jay Worth, I will always think of it as "CJ's pesto" whenever I make it. It is life-affirming, verdant and-- ah, that reminds me. There's a word for all of that in Spanish: reverdecer. It means to become green again, as in fields after a winter frost. Maybe that's what I need a little dose of right about now.

2 cups fresh basil
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons pine nuts
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons freshly grated Romano cheese
3 tablespoons butter, softened to room temperature

Blend first 5 ingredients to a paste in a blender. When evenly blended, pour into a bowl and beat in the cheeses by hand. Incorporate the butter.

Before spooning over pasta, add a tablespoon or so of the pasta cooking water to achieve the desired consistency.

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