So we meet again …. pesto.
Pesto and I have never been friends.
We first met at age 10 when my mom made a homemade pizza with what she thought was a new sun-dried tomato sauce. I was a horribly picky eater who refused to try anything new so with defiance I poked my pizza and licked my finger, ready to make a scene when my mouth started to burn. Yup, I am severely allergic to tree nuts and the new tomato sauce was actually a walnut pesto. Fast forward 15 years, I’m sitting down for dinner at an amazing wedding in Monterosso, Italy. First course comes out - salad with pine nuts, second course - gnocchi with pesto, main course - local fish with … PESTO!! My hate for pesto had never been stronger, but I had to wonder what all the fuss was about? It’s been a few years since the wedding incident and after seeing a huge bag of basil at the farmers market I was ready to try the dish which has repeatedly tried to kill me. I found a wonderful recipe on 101cookbooks.com which advises the secret to perfect pesto is to chop it all by hand (works for me, as I don’t have a food processor) and I tweaked the recipe by switching pine nuts with sunflower and pumpkin seeds. I was advised it tasted like regular pesto by the boyfriend but I’m still not sold … it might be the fact that pesto has always equalled death but I think it may just be a bit plain for my taste.
In order to have the best possible first pesto experience I opted to make the pasta from scratch … for the first time ever. I was amazed by how easy it was and how much pasta was yielded from a tiny batch of “dough”. I was really expecting the worst (even had store bought dried pasta on standby) but they looked beautiful and tasted delicious. The only difficult part was trying to cut the “noodles” straight … which would have been entertaining for anyone to watch.
Original pesto recipe
Homemade pasta recipe