During my Italian Lunch cooking class today, we made ricotta gnocchi with three sauces – marinara, pesto and butter sage. While the marinara and butter sage sauces were quite delicious, the pesto made me appreciate the abundance of basil this time of year. So, I share my recipe for basil pesto.
½ cup pignoli (pine nuts)
10 stalks of fresh basil
3 cloves of garlic
½ cup parmesan cheese
6 tablespoons of softened butter (yes, this recipe is a rich one!)
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Fresh ground pepper
Remove the basil leaves from the stalks and place them in a food processor. Add the pine nuts, garlic, cheese and butter and blend until it forms a paste. Add the olive oil little by little as well as the salt and pepper to taste while blending the other ingredients. Be sure to use a spatula to push down any ingredients stuck to the sides of the food processor in between your processing. Toss the pesto with gnocchi or your favorite pasta – a little goes a long way!