Mom’s Pesto Genovese

During the summer months my Mothers basil would grow like weeds. We always had tons of fresh  basil  and my mother would make jars and jars of fresh pesto. She would take the time to teach me how to pinch the scented little buds off the top of the plants in order to make the basil grow larger and branch out creating a very large bush. We would pick the large leaves in the early morning and she would have me wash and tear them into the blender. One of  my favorite and simple dishes that she would prepare is pasta with pesto, grated cheese and extra virgin olive oil.

Bucatini is a thick spaghetti like pasta that is hollow in the center. The name comes from the Italian word "Buco" meaning "hole" and "Bucato" means "pierced". This allow the sauce tho gather in the center for extra flavor.

Pesto Genovese

2 cups picked and washed basil

1/3 cup good Parmesan cheese

3 cloves fresh garlic

1/3 cup pine nuts

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper

Place the pine nuts and garlic in the mortar  and with the pestle grind them together. Add the basil and salt and grind to a creamy texture. Mix in the cheese with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place into a glass jar with a tight fitting lid. Cover the pesto with olive oil. The pesto will keep up to a week or it can be frozen.

Bucatini with Pesto Genovese

1 pound bucatini

1/2 cup or more of Pesto Genovese

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup grated grana padana parmesean cheese

1 cup sun dried tomatoes (not in oil)

Cook the past for 10-12 minutes in boiling salted water. Place the pesto and sun-dried tomatoes in a large saute pan and turn to medium heat. Drain the pasta and shake in the colander to remove most of the water but not all. Place the hot pasta into the pan with the pesto. Add the olive oil, cheese and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

And yes, the pesto can be made in the blender. Add all the ingredients to the blender and pulse on high until smooth.