The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #165215   Message #4017275
Posted By: Steve Shaw
05-Nov-19 - 09:59 AM
Thread Name: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
I don't buy shop pesto. I've never tasted any that wasn't greasy, salty and a little bit bitter. I happened to have three or four windowsill pots of basil lying around so I've used them up today before they went downhill. I have done pesto the traditional way with my pestle and mortar, but I honestly can't be arsed these days as I have a very nifty hand blender with its own jug.

I made one lot of Marcella Hazan's, which I'll stir into some spaghetti this evening after the fireworks at the old people's home. The ingredients are fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil (my best Tuscan), pine nuts, garlic and salt. That gets whizzed into a paste, then I added a hearty grating of parmesan cheese and a slightly less hearty grating of pecorino Romano. Following Marcella, I worked the cheese in with my hand (which was very clean), which keeps the mix airy and light. The bonus is that you can lick your fingers after you've finished.

I made another lot which we'll have on crostini on Friday evening. This is one of Gino d'Acampo's recipes. It's basil, pine nuts, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, parmesan and a goodly amount of sundried tomatoes drained of their oil (I hate the salty, dry-packed ones). You can whizz it all in one go but it's better to do the whizzing in two steps, leaving the cheese and oil until stage two. The paste is quite thick, ideal for spreading on to bruschetta or crostini. The finishing touch is to sprinkle some deseeded, finely-chopped tomato and some baby basil leaves on top. I'll need another topping for Friday night but I haven't decided on one as yet. I'm a bit weird with my bruschetta and crostini. I always brush both sides very lightly with garlicky oil before toasting. The rubbing with garlic method can tear the bread, but that's just me being clumsy, and I'm not changing now. The bread quality is paramount. I normally use Crosta Mollusca pane pugliese, but if I haven't got any a nice sliced ciabatta will do the job.