“Por Supuesto, Es Tiempo Para Pesto” translates into “Of Course, It’s Time for Pesto”.
To say that our family loves Pesto is an understatement. So in high school when my daughter was learning transition words in Spanish class she thought it was pretty cool that the word Supuesto rhymed with Pesto. That’s when she came up with the jingle, “Por Supuesto, Es Tiempo Para Pesto”. My son thought the jingle was great and both of them would sing it in their most serious voices, making me laugh as I prepared the Pesto. Both kids are in college now but every time I make Pesto sauce I smile and remember my goofy singers in the kitchen.
Pesto is an Italian sauce made with Basil, Garlic, nuts, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil. Pesto can be added to pastas and entrée dishes like chicken. Pesto can be spread on bread for sandwiches or antipasto. Pesto can also be put on home-made pizza or store-bought pizza breads.
In the summers we grow our own Basil and make Pesto regularly. We generally enjoy the Pesto sauce the same day we make it. However, you can refrigerate left over Pesto for a couple of days to use later. If you have a big harvest of Basil you can make extra Pesto and freeze it. When you are ready to use, simply defrost and place the container in a bath of warm water. Pesto is generally not heated because the heat causes the olive oil to separate. When I prepare Pesto specifically for Pizza I make a dryer Pesto by using less oil. This way when the Pesto heats up in the oven it does not become too runny. I also make less oily Pesto when I want to make a Pesto cream sauce.
The easiest way to use Pesto sauce is to mix it into your favorite cooked pasta. We love using Farfalle (bows) pasta with Pesto. While the pasta is boiling, we place half of the Pesto sauce in a large bowl and mix with about ¼ cup of the pasta water. We then add the cooked pasta to the bowl and stir well. We finish adding the remaining Pesto sauce to the pasta. You can add more pasta water to loosen the pasta further. We serve the pasta immediately however Pesto pasta also tastes great at room temperature. (Adding pasta water to the Pesto or other types of pasta helps to emulsify the sauce and make it smoother.) We like to enjoy Pesto Pasta with either roast chicken, chicken sausages, or Italian pork sausages.
Another family favorite is pizza with a base of Pesto and topped with Prosciutto. Pesto makes a great spread inside a ham or turkey sandwich or Panini. The family also loves a Pesto cream sauce that can be either drizzled over chicken cutlets (breaded or regular) or used as a dipping sauce for homemade chicken fingers.
The beauty of making Pesto is that you can modify the recipe to your taste. Below I share our family recipe. Have fun experimenting with it.
Petrucelli Family Pesto Sauce
Yield – ¾ cup to 1 cup of Pesto (enough for 1 lb of pasta)
- 6 cups of loose Basil leaves or 4 cups of compressed Basil leaves
- ¼ to ⅓ cup of Parmesan cheese
- ¼ to ⅓cup toasted Pine nuts (or other favorite nuts like Walnuts, Pecans, or Pistachios)
- 2 large garlic cloves
- ¼ tsp kosher salt or more salt to taste
- ⅓ to ½ cup of extra-virgin olive oil
- Ground Black Pepper to taste
Place all the ingredients except the olive oil in a food processor. Start blending. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the ingredients blend together and form a smooth paste.
Enjoy in your favorite dish and remember,
“Por Supuesto, Es Tiempo Para Pesto”