Flavio Matani (flavius_m) wrote,
Flavio Matani

It's all cooking with gas now

Friends coming over for dinner tonight, so I'll be doing the 'caraotas negras refritas', the refried black bean flavdinner recipe, one of the very few things I cook. Have already chopped some garlic, onion is looking at me balefully from the worktop (that's the bit I don't like about this, chopping onions... I might buy some swimming pool goggles just for that purpose...) and have to go out get a red pepper , some plantainand a couple of other things.

A friend who used to run a well known venue and who is a very good chef just emailed asking me for my pesto recipe. In reality, there isn't a recipe in that I cannot do measurements for toffee -or anything else; it's all, as they say in my village, 'eye percent measurement", but I sent her a loose description of what I do and where it differs from standard pesto -thought I would also post it here, so here it is:

Pesto is very simple and really the only difference with the standard recipe is that I don't put the basil in the blender but chop it by hand -the flavour is different that way. I also try to take most of the twigs out.

What you need is basil -of course-, garlic, pine kernels, parmesan cheese, olive oil, salt and pepper.

The pine kernels can go in the blender but I prefer the texture if you either crush them by hand or run them through one of those little mills -a coffee grinder might do. You might want to try toasting them a little before grinding them, this gives it a slightly different flavour. I find the taste of Parmesan cheese changes on how you cut it or grate it; I prefer it pulverised (er, this is not the right word) rather than in little strips as you would get from a hand grater, if you know what I mean.

As I said, I chop the basil by hand -I do this with a kitchen knife and I'm sure you can do this with a far more efficient technique than I can :D -quite small bits by the end of it but not ground, no blender (although Italians do blend it).

There's nothing that much to this, then: Lots of chopped basil, a fair bit of crushed pine kernels, lots of parmesan and a bit more garlic than you might feel is prudent. Add lots of olive oil, salt and pepper and mix. There is nothing else to it. There are many variations but I tend to stick to what I've found I like so haven't tried any.

I told you I didn't do measurements, sori:)

Tags: cooking, food, friends, stuff

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