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Pesto Sauce

Basil, garlic, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, goodness my mouth is watering already just at the thought of it. This simple sauce is based on an Antonio Carluccio recipe. Many people use a food processor when making pesto, which is fine but I find the basil leaves end up being too finely chopped and the resultant sauce becomes too runny. Calrluccio, RIP, uses pecorino instead of parmesan, or a 50/50 mix, but pecorino is veryexpensive and hard to find in rural England so I use 100% parmesan instead.

Foodideals - Pesto Sauce 2 large bunches fresh basil leaves,
2 desert spoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Olive oil
3 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts
2  garlic cloves,sliced
Pinch sea salt


In a pestle and mortar crush the garlic with the sea salt until you have a paste, add the pine nuts and bash until coarse.Foodideals - Tagliatelle al pesto Coarsely chop the basil leaves, add them gradually to the garlic and nut paste and crush until you have a slightly coarse paste, you will need to do this in batches. Transfer this mixture to a bowl and add the parmesan. Gradually add the olive oil and mix tasting as you go. You may find you need more cheese, basil or nuts to get a sauce that is right for you.

This sauce is ready to use now and will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days if kept in a sealed jar.

This sauce is great even on dried pasta but to get the ultimate you really should have a go at making your own pasta, you can find my favorite pasta recipe here.