I've been craving pesto, but stumped by my lack of food processor-blender gadget. So, yesterday I looked into the traditional mortar and pestle methods...then fashioned a mortar and pestle from the end of a wide-handled fork and ceramic bowl, and went to town. Ghetto? Desperate? Tasty!
Here's how it went down:
- 2 cups loosely packed basil
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted, plus crushed pine nuts for garnish
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese, grated, plus more for garnish
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
- 1/2 tsp. coarse sea salt
- Combine basil, toasted pine nuts, garlic, and salt in your mort ar.
- Grind with pestle in a pounding and/or rotating motion until a paste is formed, about 5 minutes.
- Add cheese; grind until combined.
- Briskly stir pesto with a wooden spoon while drizzling in the olive oil.
- Drizzle pesto with more oil until desired consistency is reached.
- Let rest while cooking your pasta.
- Stir pesto into drained pasta while still hot.
- Garnish with extra cheese and crushed pine nuts.
Comments: So, I'm terrible at following directions, and began grinding the basil with just salt. I believe the garlic and nuts would allow it to break down faster, and give much better results. Also, I used walnuts instead of pinenuts, as I had them on hand. I halved the recipe, because that was how much basil I had, but next time I'd try and do a full batch, this went too quickly!