Mario Batali: Pesto

Pesto
Mario Batali (Babbo, Del Posto, Osteria Mozza)

Pesto
Mario Batali (Babbo, Del Posto, Osteria Mozza)

Read the transcript of this video
The key to understanding pesto, big leaf or little leaf basil. When you're in Liguria, they use something called piccolo fino basil. If you've seen it at the fancy grocery stores, it's right next door to the regular basil. It just costs a lot more. It does have a slightly less bitter flavor. But if you grow your own basil and don't allow it to sit too long on the vine, that's where the bitterness comes from. It's a lot of exposure to the sun. You can also allow some of your big basil leaves at the top of your plant to grow and kind of create a canopy under which the smaller ones will grow. And you will harvest those, leaving the big ones to kind of dry out. But at the end of the day, even if you just bought commercial basil, you're gonna be in good shape as long as you understand some of the basic premises of making pesto. Pesto is not thin Pesto is dense. It is a paste. It looks like spackle. It shouldn't look like a vinaigrette or salad dressing. So, put less oil in, and you'll understand it. Also, don't run the machine very long. You don't want to break it up too much. You just want to create a kind of rough chopped feel to it. So, the first thing I put in is garlic. If you have sweeter garlic, put in a little more. For this much basil I wouldn't put in any more than four cloves. So I'm going to put about three cups of basil leaves, just freshly picked, I'm going to put in some salt now, so I don't turn it on, I pulse it. I don't pulse it very long. [SOUND] That is it. That is all it needs. Now it looks like roughly chopped up parsley. That a good thing. So now what we are going to do is add our pine nuts. So I put in maybe a small handful for this about of basil. Now I am going to add extra virgin olive oil. Lager if you have it. So now I am going to pulse this. Pulse it, pulse it. That's almost done. I'm gonna take about a quarter cup of parmigiano reggiano and I'm gonna add another three or four tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. And I'm gonna pulse it like that. And that my friends is pesto.>> [APPLAUSE]
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Mario Batali: Pesto


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