Here's a classic basil sauce that won't turn brown the minute you toss it with hot pasta! The trick: Blanching the basil before making the pesto.
You may think that blanching the basil will take away some of its spunk, but be assured that it doesn't. Indeed, the technique won't take an ounce of flavor out of the aromatic leaves.
This extra step only adds a few minutes to the preparation of your pesto, but it'll give you a bright green sauce that will make all your favorite pesto dishes look as good as they taste.
- 2 1/2 Teaspoons sea salt
- 4 Ounces basil, stemmed
- 1/3 Cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano
- 1 large clove garlic, peeled
- 3 Tablespoons pine nuts
- 1/2 Cup extra-virgin olive oil
Fill a large bowl with cold water and several ice cubes. Set aside. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add 2 teaspoons of the salt and the basil leaves and blanch for 15 seconds. Immediately remove the leaves from the boiling water and place in the ice water bath. Once cooled (this only takes a few seconds), drain. Squeeze the leaves to remove all excess water, and lay them on a paper towel.
Using scissors, cut the basil into 1-inch pieces. Place the basil and remaining ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Process until it forms a creamy paste, scraping the sides of the bowl once or twice, for about 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a container. Use right away, refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 1 month.