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Blender Pesto Sauce to Use Now or Freeze

This is delicious on pasta or on baked Irish potatoes. Pesto also can be made ahead and frozen for convenience. (Note that the Parmesan cheese is added later, when the pesto is used, not when it is going to be frozen.)

Source: Based on p. 99, "Flavors of the Gardens: A Collection of Recipes and Stories from Callaway Gardens," Memphis: Wimmer Co., 2000. (Entered by Janice Matthews)
Serves: Twelve tablespoon-sized frozen cubes, or enough for 1.5 pounds of pasta.
Vegetarian!

Ingredients
2 cups basil leaves      View Available Products
1/3 cup olive oil
2 T. pine nuts (or walnuts)
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2/3 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Step by Step Instructions
  1. Process the basil, olive oil, nuts and garlic in a blender or food processor until the mixture is smooth.
  2. Spoon the pesto into the sections of an ice cube tray, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the freezer until the cubes are solid. Then pop them out into a freezer container or ziplock bag to store in the freezer until needed.
  3. When ready to use, thaw one or more cubes to room temperature. (Use 2 cubes for each 1/4 pound of dried pasta.) Then beat the grated Parmesan cheese into the pesto, using 1 tablespoon of cheese per cube to avoid separating.
  4. Cook the pasta. When it is done, add 1 teaspoon of hot water to the pesto, and stir until smooth. (Serve warm, not hot, or it will curdle.)

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