Devour the zingy and fresh taste of Basil Pesto Sauce!

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The base of the Italian dishes is primarily consumed with either tomato-based Arrabiata sauce or creamy Bechamel sauce or both some time. However, an extremely refreshing basil pesto sauce is the authentic Italian sauce made from easily available ingredients. It is a visual and gastronomical delight to cook the smooth texture and vivid green hue of the sauce. Basil pesto sauce is increasingly becoming a part of everyday cooking because it is easy to prepare as well as soothes your digestive system. It is typically made with fresh basil leaves and olive oil and seasoned with lemon juice, pepper, and salt. Additionally, pine nuts can be added to the sauce to give it a nutty edge. Pine nuts can also be substituted with cashew nuts or peanuts. Basil pesto sauce can be used in cooking pasta and other recipes.

Along with having a zingy and fresh flavor, it can also be used as an alternative to the tomato-based marinara sauce in pizza recipes or prepare pesto sauce pasta. Basil pesto sauce also makes a wonderful dip that can be paired up with chips, crackers, and much more. You can freeze it and use it again for up to 2 weeks. Here is the recipe for preparing fresh basil pesto sauce at home.

Ingredients

1. Fresh basil Leaves: 2 cups

2. Freshly grated Romano or Parmesan-Reggiano cheese: 1/2 cup

3. Extra virgin olive oil: 1/2 cup

4. Pine nuts: 1/3 cup

5. Garlic cloves: 3

6. Salt: 1/4 tablespoon

7. Ground black pepper: 1/8 tablespoon

Recipe

1. Put basil leaves and pine nuts in the bowl of the food processor and pulse it.

2. Add garlic and pine nuts into the food processor and pulse some more.

3. Add olive oil slowly in the processor while it is running to emulsify it and help keep the olive oil from separating.

4. Stir the mixture in salt and fresh ground black pepper, add more to taste.

5. Enjoy the basil pesto sauce as a quick sauce with pasta, baked potatoes, or spread onto crackers or toasted slices of bread.

Tips for Cooking with Pesto

1. If you wish to add cheese to your pesto, do it just before serving or grate the cheese onto the pasta to avoid having it becoming sticky. People usually use cheese as a spread and serve instantly.

2. To add a mellow flavor to the sauce, add raw or roasted garlic paste as it is easier on the stomach as well.

3. If you want to use basil pesto sauce as a pasta sauce, add some pasta cooking water to the pesto to prevent its thick consistency.

Cleaning and Storing Basil Leaves for Pesto

Basil is a herb that can be easily bruised hence require to be treated with a tender touch to retain its beauty and freshness. Keep the leaves attached to stem while storing it in a vase or mason jar of cool water. Let the jar rest at room temperature and try keeping it in the sun as basil leaves last longer in a moderate temperature room with plenty of sunlight.

To avoid basil leaves from bruising while cleaning, submerge the leaves in a broad container filled with water. Gently agitate your hands in the container to get rid of any dirt and lift the leaves out of water. Place the leaves on the rack or paper towel to dry. Leaves with stubborn dirt can be rinsed gently under a slow stream of running water. Do not keep the sauce exposed to the air as it darkens quickly hence cover it tightly while storing.

Prepare the best pesto sauce or red pesto sauce at home and refrigerate in a tight container to be used for a maximum of two weeks. Make sure you do not add cheese to it while freezing. Grate fresh cheese while serving. You can also cover it with a thin layer of olive oil to increase its shelf life and keep it fresh for a long time.

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