Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Pesto And Aoili ..... Two Sauces To Enhance The Flavors Of The Foods You Prepare!

Mary and I made this sauce with fresh basil left over from the dinner party of Saturday night. Nothing is better than fresh pesto, what a flavor!
3 cups fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves
3/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt (more or less)
Place basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, salt and about 1/4 cup olive oil in food processor. Process with pulses being careful not to over process. Add remaining olive oil slowly to make a nice sauce. You want the ingredients well mixed with very tiny pieces of the basil leaves appearing as specks in the sauce. The ingredients should not be macerated.
Pesto can be stored in a glass jar in the refrigerator but should have a thin layer of olive oil covering the level surface which will prevent discoloration.
How to use Pesto:
Cook pasta in salted water and when cooked al dente, drain, and toss with Pesto. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
We like the pesto on sliced tomatoes with sliced fresh mozzarella cheese.
1 teaspoon sea salt
8 to 12 garlic cloves, halved lengthwise
1 slice white bread, wet with water and squeezed dry
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 cups olive oil, room temperature
juice of freshly squeezed lemon
about 1 tablespoon boiling water
Make paste of salt and garlic with pestle and mortar. Add softened bread and pound to amalgamate. Now add yolks continue pounding to get a thick golden paste. Transfer to food processor. With motor running, drizzle in half of olive oil. Add the lemon juice and continue processing until all the olive oil has been added and the Aioli is dense, glutenous, and glossy. Finally add the boiling water.
Uses: Many European cooks serve Aioli with meat, pasta, and crudities. These two sauces, Pesto and Aioli, are the primary sauces in an European kitchen and are frequently found in the recipes.

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