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Monday, September 13, 2010


Spaghetti with chicken, tomatoes & pesto
 In case you don't know what it is, pesto is a green paste made with basil, pine nuts and olive oil. You can spread it on bread, toss it through cooked pasta, dribble it onto pizza or cooked chicken. It's delicious with potatoes too, whether they are mashed, diced, sliced, boiled, baked or fried. Try mixing it with a creamy mayonnaise - yum!

In Japan basil is sold for premium prices, in tiny little bunches, or in little pots that start to die on me before I even get them home. Pine nuts are expensive too, and probably only available from foreign food stores. But you can buy huge bunches of parsley at the supermarket, or if you have a garden it's easy to grow. And parsley makes wonderful pesto. Heres how... 

You need a blender or a food processor. Put in 4 peeled cloves of garlic, 1/4 cup almonds or walnuts, about 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 to 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, 5 cups of loosely packed parsley (remove any tough thick stalks), and 1/2 cup olive oil. Process until everything is finely chopped, then add up to 1/2 cup more oil slowly until you have a dark green paste that is just thin enough to pour. Store in a glass or plastic container and refrigerate. Use within 3 months, or freeze for longer storage.

You can mix parsley with basil, and I haven't tried it out yet but probably you can make it with other herbs or mixtures of herbs. I've made it without nuts or cheese too, and it was still good. 

 By the way, did you know that parsley is a cure for garlic breath? So eating them together like this means you don't have to suffer a garlic after-taste next day. 

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