Pesto is a sauce made from fresh basil, garlic, grated Parmesan cheese, olive oil, and pine nuts. It is of Italian origin, and the word pesto means “pounded,” as traditionally it was made by grinding the ingredients together by hand in a mortar and pestle.
When the first “Pesto Manifesto” was published in 1987, pesto was relatively new on the culinary scene in this country. (There is, however, a recipe for Basil Pesto in the 1962 revised edition of The Joy of Cooking.) Nazzaro’s mission as an author and home food manufacturer was to make a public proclamation, hence “Manifesto,” that people owed it to themselves not only to try pesto, but also to try it on everything. In this revised and enlarged edition of the original “Pesto Manifesto,” the author has included many new and unusual ways to “pestocize your world of edibles, to paint your culinary cosmos green with savor and zest.”
Here it is, the ultimate in pesto recipes, the world expert’s final word in pesto making!
PESTO, THE RECIPE
Place 2 large cloves of garlic in the bottom of a blender or food processor. Add 3 cups very firmly packed fresh basil leaves, 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, and 1 cup olive oil.
Grind for 10 seconds. Add ½ cup pine nuts. Grind for 8 to 10 seconds longer. The sauce should contain small pieces of leaves, and thenuts should be just broken up, not pulverized. Remember that pesto was traditionally made by hand, and you don’t want modern appliances to give it a baby-food consistency.