It was meant to be, this batch of Pesto. The Pazzo got a big bunch of homegrown basil from his cousin earlier this week. Today he reminded me that it was there and asked me to make it into pesto. I told him it would have to wait, we had no walnuts. But when the Pazzo and Ivy had gone to the supermarket earlier, they just happened to buy walnuts, at Ivy’s insistence.
However, I was busy, I had a whole house to clean, washing needing folding, dinner to be made. The Pazzo was going to the Australian Open with his brother, I had to get the cleaning done on my own.
I said if he washed the basil, I’d make the pesto. It was a deal, a win for me. I’m not great at washing food or dishes. Clothes washing I’m good at, but recent events might prove otherwise. Pink cricket whites don’t really support my claim! Thank goodness for bleach and warm drying days.
I popped the freshly washed basil into the food processor, popped in the walnuts. We like pesto better with walnuts (the Pazzo really doesn’t like pine nuts). They just blend the basil and garlic a bit more than the traditional pine nuts. As the garlic went in I thought about the Parmesan cheese. There was no parmigiana reggiano in the freezer. You know, when your father-in-law was born and bred near Parma in Italy, the birthplace of Parmesan cheese, there is no way to compromise on this, it’s parmigiana reggiano, or nothing. Luckily we had some left from the gift that the Pazzo’s brother gave us from his last trip to Italy. Of course it’s from Parma, of course it’s a well aged, a more sophisticated and better quality cheese than can be purchased here.
The last ingredient – olive oil. I have light olive oil, we use it everyday. I was lamenting the fact that it was not going to be good enough given the quality of the other ingredients, (was it worth going to buy a better oil?), then I remembered. A friend from hockey has an olive grove and she presses the olives to make oil to sell. I bought a couple of bottles late last year. There was nearly a whole bottle left. Perfect.
Now I have a pesto made from beautiful fresh homegrown basil, well aged Parmesan cheese, imported from the home of Parmesan cheeses, and a homegrown boutique olive oil. The perfect pesto storm. The smell was wonderful. Yanni and Ivy both turned their noses up at it – more for the rest of us. Jamie was the one scraping out the processor bowl – “This is great, Mum. Why aren’t we having pesto pasta for dinner?”