You might have seen jars of Pesto in supermarkets such as I did and even have tried that but by reading the ingredients I kind of backed up and decided not to. In fact everything you see on the shelf in your local supermarket, is sitting there comfortably mainly because enough preservative has been added to it to increase its shelf life so you can buy it easily every time you step in the store.
So I decided to make it myself and found a recipe on the net. Here are the ingredients:
2 cups of fresh Basil.
2 cloves Garlic.
1/4 cup Pine Nut.
2/3 cup extra virgin Olive Oil.
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Cheese.
Salt and Paper to taste
Simply put everything but the cheese and oil together in processor and make a sticky paste. Add oil gradually and mix together on slow speed, grate the cheese, add and mix more. The result should be similar to what you see in the picture above except that I do not have a good food processor and I had to use a small one which is a pain in the butt! but if you balance everything and mix well enough, the result will be fantastic. I have to say that its a very strong paste and that is why but adding a spoon to a bowl of spaghetti, you can be full. Every little ingredients in this, I would like to call it meal, is important and together they bring out the flavour and strength. Pecorino cheese is an imported product from Italy and for that reason it is expensive. I guess I paid some $12 for a small block of it not probably more than 80 grams, don't recall completely. Pecorino is made out of sheep milk and has different types including Summer Pecorino and of course it's called that because it's made in that season. I checked online and realized that no one makes that kind or anything similar to that but I have to personally check a few farms and ranched in the province in summer. I might be able to get sheep milk and make the cheese myself! You can get Goat Milk and Gout Cheese in most of the supermarkets but although I have seen a few sheep farms around Calgary, including one in the south when you just leave the city, I have never seen any sheep dairy product. And one thing that I just remember and better to put here is Springbank Cheese Co. in 14th St. NW that I have passed by hundreds of times. I have to check that as well. I will have another post for that search. I have tried Sheep Yogurt in the old country and liked it very much. It tastes completely different especially if you get one of these stupid commercial fruit-full of sugar yogurts that you see them in supermarkets these days. I have never seen something as stupid as this. When you go to that isle you don't think you are somewhere which associates with food. You think you are in Toys R Us or something like that because they try to sell their garbage to people with the nice photos and cartoons they put on the packing!
Anyways Basil is hard to come by as well. You can get them in small packs in Safeway and it's sold as organic which I hardly believe but if you are going to get that type, you will need at least 5 or 6 packs, I assume. Considering each of them are some $3, you can see how much your little paste would cost. The best place to get it is Chinese stores. They bring it all the way from China(!) or directly from Chinese growers in Alberta or British Columbia! Who the hell knows! But that's what you need. Pine Nut is another expensive ingredient. Considering $0.65 is how much you pay for 100 g. of peanut, Pine Nut in comparison to that is something around $6 for every 100 g.! The good thing is you only need 1/4 cup for your Pesto. The rest is easy to find with reasonable prices.
The key to have a good Pesto as I said earlier is having a good food processor. The rest is not to hard to find because if I find them, why won't you?
It's a messy job even for me who regularly cooks. So be prepared for having something like the below photo of worse. I only show part of it!
After all this is a good experience and worth trying. I enjoyed my Spaghetti with the Pesto. Don't forget that your Spaghetti should be hot right out of the pot and you add the Pesto, mix it really well and then enjoy.
(Photo: the above picture shows the small container of Pesto that I made)