Adding fresh greens brightens the color of this pesto and adds body.
Serve over al dente pasta, adding just a little of the pasta cooking water to loosen the pesto so that the sauce coats the pasta and doesn’t stay in clumps; serve immediately. Pass the grated cheese.
Make Ahead: The pesto can be refrigerated for up to 3 days; pour a little oil on top to cover.
Yield: Makes 1 3/4 cups (enough sauce for 1 pound of pasta or 8 servings)
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- About 3 large cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
- Large handful (about 1 cup packed leaves) of fresh spinach and/or italian flat-leaf parsley
- 1 cup frozen basil paste, broken into pieces (see related recipe)
- 3 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or pecorino-Romano cheese
Combine the pine nuts and garlic in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse just until coarsely chopped. Add the fresh greens and basil paste with 1 tablespoon of the oil; pulse until coarsely chopped.
Add 2 tablespoons of the oil and 1/3 cup of the cheese; pulse just until blended to form a pesto with texture. Do not puree.
Taste and add the remaining cheese as needed plus salt to taste. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil (with the motor running) as needed. The texture should be moist and saucelike.
Use immediately, or cover tightly and refrigerate for up to 3 days. If storing it, pour a little oil on top to cover.
From culinary herbalist and cookbook author Susan Belsinger.
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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