Home-made Pesto Sauce
Every year I grow enough basil leaves to see me through the summer and, most importantly, to make at least one home-made pesto sauce.
A lot of precious leaves are needed to make up 2oz (50g), but it really is worth it as the home-made version puts all the ready-made ones in the shade. If you can get Pecorino Romano it has a more gutsy flavour than Parmesan, but if you can't Parmesan will do. Vegetarians might like to know you can buy a vegetarian style Parmesan cheese from Bookhams
You can now watch how to make Home-made Pesto Sauce in our Cookery School Term Perfect Rice and Pasta - 'How to Cook Perfect Pasta' - video lesson below.
This recipe is from Delia's Summer Collection.
Place the basil, garlic, pine nuts and olive oil together with some salt in a mini-chopper and whizz, then push any unblended basil leaves down with a spatula and whizz again until you have a smooth purée.
Then transfer the purée to a bowl and stir in the grated Pecorino Romano cheese. If you don't have a mini-chopper, you can use a large pestle and mortar to pound the basil, garlic and pine nuts to a paste. Slowly add the salt and cheese, then very gradually add the oil until you have obtained a smooth purée. If you want to make pesto in advance - cover it with cling film, making sure it actually touches the surface of the sauce. You can keep it in the fridge for a week.