There are plenty of store-bought items that we choose to substitute for homemade cooking. However, oftentimes the uniqueness of a recipe is in the smallest detail. Pesto is one of those minute elements of a larger dish, and opting to make it from scratch has the power to boost both the flavor and your mood.
Cooking is known to be a great stress reducer. As we focus all of our attention on one task, we distract ourselves from becoming overwhelmed with anxiety, anger and depression. So for your next dinner, try re-creating this classic Italian sauce.
Pesto is all about balancing fresh herbs, like basil, with the distinct flavor of garlic. This freshly made pesto is full of flavor and can be added to almost any dinnertime favorite. Pesto is a staple Italian ingredient that’s superb tossed in with pasta, spread on a pizza or drizzled over juicy Roma tomatoes.
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cups fresh basil leaves (about 4 ounces)
- 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
- 3 garlic cloves
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- ¼ cup freshly grated Pecorino Sardo or Roma cheese
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Using a mortar and pestle or in a food processor, combine the olive oil, basil, pine nuts and garlic and blend until a paste forms.
- Add the Parmesan and Pecorino cheeses, and pulse until smooth.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Be mindful that Pecorino and Parmesan are salty cheeses.
When storing pesto in the refrigerator, add an extra layer of olive oil to help preserve its freshness and keep the color from turning to dark green too quickly. You can also freeze it.
Source: Extra Virgin