Tuesday, July 13, 2010


It is that time of the season when the Basil plants on the balcony are twice as large as they should be. So I decided to make Pesto Pasta With Meat Balls for dinner tonight. I harvested the top half of approximately fifteen plants, picked each leaf off its stem and washed and dried what amounted to approximately 10 cups packed or what was needed for a double bach of Pesto. 

Next I measured a double order of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper (2 tsp each,) double the pignolis (pine nuts) and walnuts (½ cup each,) and cleaned 20 garlic cloves. Did I mention that yesterday I purchased a Cusinart Food Processor? NO? Well I did, having decided that I am doing enough cooking to DESERVE ONE!

I placed the walnuts, pignolis, and garlic in the bowl of my new food processor fitted with the steel blade and processed for 60 seconds (double the time for a double batch.) Next I added the basil leaves, salt, and pepper. Then with the processor running, I was next supposed to slowly pour the three cups of olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and then I was supposed to process until the pesto was thoroughly pureed. After that, I was supposed to add the two cups of Parmesan and puree for a few minutes. Finally I was supposed to serve or store the pesto in the refrigerator or freezer with a thin film of olive oil on top.

Here comes the twist in the plot of the story. I had only one cup of olive oil (not three) with no backup in the pantry and only one cup (not two) of Parmesan cheese. So instead of an Italian dinner at home, we went to the theater to see "I Am Love," a beautiful, difficult movie that takes place in Italy, then on to BRAVO, an Italian restaurant in the neighborhood and had Italian Wedding Soup for dinner. Tomorrow come back and I'll let you know if we were able to create our own Italian dinner (Pesto Pasta with Meat Balls) at home.

(This recipe came from "Barefoot Contessa" 2000 and measurements as stated are for a double batch of Pesto.)

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