Every week, we’re unearthing Heirloom Recipes -- dishes that have made their way from one generation's kitchen to the next.
Today: Jodi Moreno of What's Cooking Good Looking shares her mother's recipe for pesto, one that's been a lifelong favorite.
Growing up with an Italian mother, you can only imagine the amount of homemade Italian food and pasta I haven eaten over the years. Even though my mom was a nurse and often worked late hours, she still managed to have a home cooked meal on the table every single night. Going out to eat or ordering in was a rare occasion at our house, and having one of my mom's classic dishes was the usual on the weeknights. On Saturdays, my brother and I would alternate on who would get to choose what our mom would cook that night. Matt always wanted either shrimp or alfredo. But when it was my turn, I almost always requested something with pesto -- it's always been my favorite.
Chances are that you have eaten or even made pesto before. Probably many, many times. It's easily one of the most common things to make with basil, and it has so many uses besides serving over a big bowl of pasta. Even though you've likely made it dozens of times, there are a few rules that I have learned about making pasta and pesto that have come from years and years of eating, making and perfecting my favorite dish. While my recipe has changed ever so slightly since my mom and grandmother used to make it for me, I think that they would approve of my improvements. I even have a few rules of my own that I follow every time I make my pesto and pasta:
I would love to hear if you have any pesto pasta rules of your own. Unlike some of my stubborn Italian relatives, I am always open to new ways to make my favorite things even better.
2 cups basil, packed
1 cup arugula, packed
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/3 cup pine nuts
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt
A pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 cup really good olive oil