I make this in England and people get upset that my pesto has no basil in it. It’s not like there’s a rule that says pesto has to have basil in it. In fact, there are no rules in the kitchen. And that’s worth saying again. There are no rules in the kitchen. Just creativity and fun. And don’t throw knives at each other, perhaps.
I deliberately omit quantites from the “Ready” section because amounts are completely up to you. You see, there simply cannot be a science to this. Anyway, I reckon it changes every time I make it. I never measure the oil but prefer to use my eye to make sure the sauce looks wet. The number of cloves of garlic I use will be determined by their size and how brave I am feeling that particular day (and whether there is anyone I want to kiss passionately). I put my hand in a bag of pine nuts and throw in whatever comes out. I keep tasting it though, until I have it just right for me. I figure my guests can always add their own salt! And as long as I like it, frankly I am not too bothered what other people think. Really.
- Pine nuts
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Food processor
- Storage container
- Place a substantial amount of rocket (at least 2 bunches or 1 pre-packaged bag) into the food processor. Add the garlic, a handful of pine nuts, a good amount of parmesean and plenty of oil.
- Blitz to a coarse paste.
- It is essential to taste it at this point. Add more of any ingredients to get it just right and season to taste.
- Keep the pesto in an air-tight container in your fridge. It will be a good friend on nights when you can’t be bothered to cook. All you need do is stir it into your pasta of choice.
What you should know
You may have to make this in stages. Don’t overstuff the food processor.
Rocket varies in flavour depending on where it is grown, when it is picked and a dozen other variables. Always try and taste before you buy. Never be afraid to ask a supermarket employee for a sample at the salad section. Ideally, though, seek out the varieties sold at your local farmers’ market.