Pesto with the Besto

Basil Pesto

Makes about 1 1/4 cups.

4 cups packed fresh basil leaves . washed well
1/2 cup pine nuts . toated until golden . cooled and chopped fine
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan (about 1 1/2 ounces)
2 large garlic cloves . minced
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Have ready a bowl of ice and cold water. In a saucepan of boiling salted water blanch basil, a handful at a time, 2 seconds, transferring with a slotted spoon to bowl of ic water to stop cooking. Drain basil in a sieve and pat dry.

In a food processor puree basil with remaining ingredients until smooth and season with salt and pepper. Pesto may be made 2 days ahead and chilled, its surface covered with plastic wrap.

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