Pesto alla Genovese

Green-speckled Pesto

2 c fresh basil leaves
1 c fresh Italian parsley
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 c grated Romano cheese
12 blanched almonds
1 T pignoli (pine nuts)
12 blanched walnut halves
1 garlic clove
3 T butter
1/2 c olive oil

The almonds and walnuts are blanched in boiling water to help remove their skins. Next, blending is the objective: place all the ingredients in the blender and whir into a smooth paste; place the paste in a large warm bowl.

Cook pasta, such as linguine or fettuccine, al dente. Using the fork-from-pot system, fork the pasta directly into the bowl with the pesto; toss well. Add 4 tablespoons of hot water from the pasta pot, and toss again. Serve the beautifully green-speckled pasta immediately in hot soup bowls.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.


Utsalady Farm, on Camano Island, grows basil hydroponically. The local grocery stores sell it, several plugs in a cellophane sleeve to protect the leaves. I bring it home and stick it on the windowsill in a vase of water. It lasts for months! When it starts to look a little tired I go back to the store for a fresh bunch and turn the remnants of the last bunch into pesto.
Hints: Start with the nuts in the blender. Whir (on chop) until all the nuts are finely chopped. Add the greens, one handful at a time, whir until chopped, then add the next handful. After all the greens are chopped add the remaining ingredients. Whir one more time before adding the olive oil.

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