Italians are passionate about their food – and with good reason! Every region gives you a special taste of Italy, and the Cinque Terre in the provence of La Specia is no exception…
“I was on an Intrepid trip in May . When we were in Levanto, Italy, our wonderful leader Kriztina arranged a pesto cooking class for us. Six of us attended – it was amazing – we spoke no Italian, our teacher didn’t speak English, but with a bottle of wine and cheese and biscuits to help, she managed to teach all of us (with a lot of laughs and hand gestures) to make the most fabulous pesto. It was a great way to end our first afternoon on the Cinque Terre.” Gerry Martin
So if you want to try this delicious sauce at home, here’s the secret ingredients…
Place basil leaves and garlic in a traditional mortar and pestle, or use a more modern food processor or blender, and pound or process until leaves are finely chopped. Sprinkle with a little salt, add nuts and process until finely chopped.
Add olive oil in a slow, steady stream. After the oil is incorporated, add the grated cheese and season to taste with a little more salt and pepper.
You can store in an air-tight container with a thin coating of olive oil on top to keep the sauce from turning dark. Pesto will keep well in the refrigerator for a week or more. This recipe yields approximately 3-1/2 to 4 cups.
For a stronger flavour – you can increase the quantity of garlic and Pecorino cheese, plus varying the amount of olive oil will thicken or thin the consistency.