Basic Basil Pesto
I love the versatility and ease of a good pesto sauce. We grow fresh herbs in our garden and each winter I pluck all the leaves and make enough pesto to last us the rest of the year. I use it as a pasta sauce, mix it in with hummus, chicken salad and potatoes, use it as a spread on panini, with or without mayonnaise, and serve it as a savory topping on many meat and fish entrees.
The Versatility of Basic Pesto
I never measure the olive oil when I am making pesto. I pour it through the chute of my food processor until the pesto has the consistency I want. Since I am going to be freezing it and using in various ways later I tend to leave it rather thick. I can always add oil next time if I want it to be of a looser consistency. And if I am serving it on pasta, like macaroni, ravioli or linguine, I add some of the cooking water from the pasta to the pesto until it is the perfect consistency and then stir it into the hot cooked pasta. Buon Appetito!
Suggested Wine Pairings
Pasta dishes served with a nutty pesto sauce need a fairly substantial wine with forceful flavors and bright acidity to accompany it. Try a Zinfandel or a spicy Rosso di Montalcino. An oak-aged chardonnay or any wine with vanilla and spice notes would also be a good choice with nuts, especially if you are adding cream to the pesto. Spanish Albariño and Italian Vermentino also stand up well to dishes with lots of fresh herbs.