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Basil et Pine Nut Pesto

ingredients

serves 4
about 40 fresh basil leaves, washed and dried
3 garlic cloves, crushed
25 g (1 oz) pine nuts
50 g (1 3/4 oz) Parmesan cheese, finely grated
2 - 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
675 g (1 1/2 lb) fresh pasta or 350 g (12 oz) dried pasta

method

1. Rinse the basil leaves and pat them dry with paper towels.

2. Put the basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts and grated Parmesan into a food processor and blend for about 30 seconds or until smooth. Alternatively, pound all of the ingredients by hand, using a mortar and pestle.

3. If you are using a food processor, keep the motor running and slowly add the olive oil. Alternatively, add the oil drop by drop while stirring briskly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Cook the pasta in a saucepan of boiling water allowing 3-4 minutes for fresh pasta or 8-10 minutes for dried, or until it is cooked through, but still has
'bite'. Drain the pasta thoroughly in a colander.

5. Transfer the pasta to a serving plate and serve with the pesto. Toss to mix well and serve hot.

You can store pesto in the refrigerator for about 4 weeks. Cover the surface of the pesto with olive oil before sealing the container or bottle, to prevent the basil from oxidising and turning black.

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