Pesto is a wonderful sauce that can be made in advance and set aside for use later in the week. I like to make a big batch on a Sunday and freeze it. When I am ready to use it, I simply thaw the pesto and mix in the final 3 ingredients. Serve it with pasta, a side of sautéed vegetables, or over roasted chicken breasts. The options are endless.
Food Processor: Part 1
2 1/2 cups basil, washed and cleaned
1/2 cup good extra virgin olive oil
3 1/2 tablespoons pine nuts
2 garlic cloves, chopped finely before going into the food processor
1-1/4 lb pasta
By Hand: Part 2
1/2 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
3 tablespoons freshly grated romano cheese
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
If using immediately, transfer the mixture to a bowl and slowly fold in the cheese. When the cheese has been evenly mixed into the pesto, add the softened butter and continue stirring until the sauce is uniform in texture.
When combining the pesto and cooked pasta, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of the pasta water to the sauce to dilute it. Mix and coat the pasta with the pesto. Plate and garnish with basil and freshly grated parmigiano reggiano cheese.