There are things in life and in the kitchen that you are convinced you actually don’t need. Like a mortar. Who really needs it? It looks pretty cool and authentic and all that… but no one needs it, really
But as I recently discovered – nothing else makes your pesto taste like an Italian pesto but the mortar. Now I have experienced the difference in taste and flavor I can say that my food processor will just create a garlicky mash – not pesto.
OK, it takes longer to make it but you get the constant and immediate gratification while crashing away the ingredients – strong, fresh, vibrant smell of basil and garlic. This experience is worth the money and the cooking effort!
My other lesson learned from this week is that you need only a little bit of they key ingredients to make a substantial pesto portion. I also started to use a lot more Parmesan cheese to “beef” it up.
20 gr fresh basil (leaves only)
2 handfuls of pine nuts
1 clove of garlic
100 ml Olive Oil
70 gr Parmesan, grated (but feel free to adjust the amount to suit your taste)
black pepper to taste
- start crashing basil leaves, garlic and nuts in your mortar
- add 1/3 of olive oil
- continue to squash everything into a paste adding more oil as you go
- once you are satisfied with the consistency fold grated Parmesan,
- add pepper to taste (salt should be added to the pasta when you cook it, not to the pesto)
Once I put my pesto in a jar I added even more oil but that is up to you and your preferences. Just make sure you use olive oil with a gentle taste as it can become quite overpowering otherwise.