Early every October my friend Patrick and I close out his garden by gathering all the basil still thriving and making pesto. While making it we eat enough of the herb goodness spread on chunks of French bread that freezing the fruits of our labor to use for pasta, soups and other dishes during the cold winter months seems all right.
Following is one the recipe I use (Though Pat tends to improvise..lol)
I N G R E D I E N T S
3 cloves garlic, cut into pieces
2 cups solidly packed fresh basil leaves
(or 1 cup solidly packed basil leaves and 1 cup solidly packed parsley)
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts
3/4 cup Parmigiano Regiano, grated
2 tablespoons softened (room temperature) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon softened butter (for serving with the pasta)
I N S T R U C T I O N S for Food Processor
Place all the ingredients except the cheese and the butter in a food processor or blender. Pulse to a puree (don't overblend). Add the the parmigiano cheese and pulse (don't over blend). Add the butter and pulse. The mixture should have flakes of cheese, herbs and nuts while still being fairly smooth. Cover and set aside. At this point you can refrigerate the pesto and it will keep for at least a week or freeze for use (I keep for about 3-4 months)
To Serve: Serve over fettuccine or penne pasta.
While your pasta is cooking, add two tablespoon of the cooking water to a bowl large enough to hold the pasta. Stir in the pesto and the butter and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon. When the pasta is cooked, drain very briefly (don't allow to dry) and add to the bowl with the pesto, toss to coat evenly.