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Blender Pesto
Enough for about 6 Servings of pasta

2 cups fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons pine nuts
2 cloves garlic, lightly crushed with a heavy knife handle and peeled
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons freshly grated Romano pecorino cheese
3 tablespoons butter, softened to room temperature

Put the basil, olive oil, pine nuts, garlic cloves, and salt in
the blender and mix at high speed. Stop from time to time and
scrape the ingredients dow toward the bottom of the blender cup
with a rubber spatula. When the ingredients are evenly blended,
pour into a bowl and beat in the two grated cheeses by hand. (this
is not too much work, and it results in more interesting texture
and better flavor than you get when you mix in the cheese in the
blender.) When the cheese has been evenly incorporated into the
other ingredients, beat in the softened butter. Before spooning
the pesto over the pasta, add to it a tablespoon or so of the hot
water in which the pasta has boiled.

Mortar Pesto:

Same yield as blender pesto Same ingredients as blender pesto,
except a pinch of coarse salt in place of 1 teaspoon salt.

Choose a large marble mortar with a hardwood pestle. Put the basil,
pine nuts, garlic, and coarse salt in the mortar. Without pounding,
but using a rotary movement and grinding the ingredients against
the sides of the mortar, crush all the ingredients with the pestle.
When the ingredients in the mortar have been ground into a paste,
add both grated cheeses, continuing to grind with the pestle until
the mixture is evenly blended. Put aside the pestle. Add the olive
oil, a few drops at a time at first, beating it into the mixture
with a wooden spoon. Then, when all the oil has been added, beat
in the butter with the spoon. As with blender pesto, add 1 0r 2
tablespoons of hot water from the pasta pot before using.


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