Rough Pesto Rustico

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Introduction: Rough Pesto Rustico

This is the best pesto variation I have ever tasted. My brother and sister created a scrumptious feast tonight of blackened salmon, pesto, pasta, salad and steamed asparagus. And I had the luxury of simply hovering around with my camera! Here's the recipe for Brother Jor's now famous Rough Pesto Rustica. Sister Julie's Blackened Salmon is in the next instructable.

Recipe and all steps on one page for easy printing will be the last step.

Step 1: Gather Your Tools and Ingredients.

HARDWARE:
Large heavy skillet (cast iron rules)
Good sharp knife
Cutting board
Wooden spoon or latex spatula

SOFTWARE:
1 cup pine nuts
1 1/2 cups roughly grated parmsan cheese (or other favorite hard cheese)
1 1/2 heads garlic, minced
3 cups fresh basil, rough chopped
1/2 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt
Enough of your favorite pasta for four adults (farfalle or fusilli are our favorites)

Step 2: Cheese Prep

Grate your cheese on medium to large setting of your box grater, or other grating tool.

*TIP! Be sure to grate much more cheese than you will use in the recipe, because people passing by can't help but reach out and snatch pinches to snack on.

Step 3: Basil Prep

Pull all the leaves off the stems and then give it a quick rough chop. About 1/2" pieces on average.

Step 4: Garlic Prep

Mince your garlic. One full bulb and then about half of another. This is probably about 15-20 good sized cloves.

*TIP! To release the cloves from their paper thin husks easily, lay those babies out on your chopping block and give them each a light bludgeoning. Just one swift whack per piece with a flat-bottomed jar or other device will suffice. Now simply slice off the dry nubby base and pull the peel off with it. Easy peasy! See photos.

Step 5: Toast Pine Nuts

In a large heavy skillet over medium heat, dry toast the pine nuts, shaking regularly until they are golden brown and give off a rich nutty aroma. Do not let them sit still or they may burn.

Step 6: Cover Pine Nuts in Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Using good quality exvee olio, pour enough in the skillet to just barely cover the pine nuts. That's right, pour it on! Don't be shy. Now, stir over medium heat until lightly bubbling.

*TIP! NEVER use high heat with extra virgin olive oil or it will spoil, scorch and burn, leaving your final dish with an unpleasant undertone. So, be sure keep the heat on medium or lower in general.

Step 7: Add Minced Garlic

As soon as the olive oil starts bubbling, toss in your minced garlic to reduce the temperature (leave the knobs alone). Fry for about three minutes, stirring regularly.

Step 8: Add Rough Chopped Basil

Toss in rough chopped basil, sprinkle lightly with sea salt. Stir it up! Turn off heat immediately. Wait about a minute or so to let the basil totally wilt.

Step 9: Add Cheese

Toss in about 1 1/5 cups of rough grated cheese. Stir it up!

Step 10: Pour It Over Pasta and Serve!

Drain your pasta and put it in a large serving bowl. Dump your pesto on top of the pasta and serve it up!

We topped our blackened salmon fillets with a spoonful of this pesto and it was scrumtrillescent!

"Scoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooore!"

Step 11: FULL RECIPE FOR PRINTING


ROUGH PESTO RUSTICO

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup pine nuts
1 1/2 cups roughly grated parmsan cheese (or other favorite hard cheese)
1 1/2 heads garlic, minced
3 cups fresh basil, rough chopped
1/2 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt
Enough of your favorite pasta for four adults (farfalle or fusilli are our favorites)

INSTRUCTIONS:
Grate your cheese on medium to large setting of your box grater, or other grating tool.

*TIP! Be sure to grate much more cheese than you will use in the recipe, because people passing by can't help but reach out and snatch pinches to snack on.

Pull all the leaves off the stems and then give it a quick rough chop. About 1/2" pieces on average.

Mince your garlic. One full bulb and then about half of another. This is probably about 15-20 good sized cloves.

*TIP! To release the cloves from their paper thin husks easily, lay those babies out on your chopping block and give them each a light bludgeoning. Just one swift whack per piece with a flat-bottomed jar or other device will suffice. Now simply slice off the dry nubby base and pull the peel off with it. Easy peasy! See photos.

In a large heavy skillet over medium heat, dry toast the pine nuts, shaking regularly until they are golden brown and give off a rich nutty aroma. Do not let them sit still or they may burn.

Cover pine nuts with good EVOO (thanks Rachel) and keep the heat on medium or you will scorch your olive oil. As soon as the olive oil starts bubbling, toss in your minced garlic. Fry for about three minutes, stirring regularly.

Toss in chopped basil, sprinkle lightly with sea salt. Stir it up! Turn off heat immediately. Wait about a minute or so to let the basil totally wilt. Toss in about 1.5 cups of rouggh grated cheese. Stir it up! Tah dah!

Drain your pasta and put it in a large serving bowl. Dump your pesto on top of the pasta and serve it up!

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    23 Comments

    small nit pick? pesto is raw. You toast the pine nuts, yeah, and you can roast the garlic as well, but basil gives off a bitter flavor when cooked and real pesto doesn't involve cooking the basil. Make this, but take out 1/4 of the basil and sub some fresh baby spinach. add in about 1/4 cup finely chopped sun dried tomatoes. That stuff is weapons-grade yummy.

    Yes, as someone else pointed out, technically pesto is also meant to be pulverized, the name pesto has some relation to pestle I imagine? While this is not traditional pesto, it is absolutely divine when made exactly as the instructable directs. If it makes you feel better, the basil is not actually cooked, just wilted, since as you see in step 8, as soon as you add the basil you remove it from the heat and cover it for one minute, then serve. The heat is only there to wilt the leaves and change the texture. Trust me, it's perfect. Actually, don't trust me, try it yourself!

    Ah, you blanch the basil. I can see that. Not technically traditional, but I'll definitely give it a taste. For what it's worth, I wasn't bashing the dish, just the technicality. This actually looks rather tasty and I'm near dying to stuff this into a breaded chicken breast with some provolone.

    Now that sounds like a great use for this stuff! I'm nearly salivating at the thought! I didn't think you were slamming it, nothing is personal out here either way, and I am always learning. Thanks for the idea!

    totally. I'm curious to use this as well, to see what the slight blanch will do for the flavor. There's a pesto egg crepe dish on this site somewhere that I think this pesto would be an amazing cap for. Thanks for the recipe!

    In Italy we use "mortaio", a tool used also in the old pharmacy, to squeeze and mix the ingredients. I suggest you to add parmesan at last (Parmigiano- Reggiano brand) and to try linguine pasta (sort of spaghetti, De Cecco brand. Maybe toasting the pine nuts kills a little the characterisic pine smell (De gustibus non disputandum est) Ciao e buon appetito

    Mmm, all very good suggestions, thanks! I often use a mortar and pestle, which I am guessing is the same as your mortaio, and possibly the same root word where the name pesto came from (pesto/pestle?). I love linguine and fettuccine, but my sister and brother love the short curly pasta that has many "traps" to hold the sauce.

    Wow this is great! I wish more food instructables were like yours!

    Gosh golly jeepers and awww shucks! Thanks! I try to make 'em worth lookin' at anyway.