Recipe or Pesto alla 'Willungian' at Our Place @ Willunga Hill

Pesto alla 'Willungian'

The name is a play on the original pesto which comes from Liguria, Anna's birthplace in Italy. The traditional recipe of course uses pine nuts. We have added our regional twist by using fresh almonds from Willunga.

2 large bunches of fresh basil
50g lightly toasted, blanched almonds
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (may need a little more depending on consistency)
75g freshly grated Parmigiano
75g freshly grated Pecorino Sardo (both or either cheeses can be used)

Traditionally, pesto is made in a large mortar and pestle, adding a little coarse salt to the leaves to help grind them into a paste without bruising, however, a food processor delivers a good result with much less effort.

Place all ingredients except oil into the bowl of the processor, begin processing, adding the oil through the lid until a thick paste is formed.

Serve with freshly cooked pasta or gnocchi. When draining however, reserve a jug of the cooking water. Toss the pasta or gnocchi in the pesto, using a little of the water to thin as necessary.

In Liguria, it is traditional to take a jug of the pasta wate to he table so that guests can dilute the sauce to their liking. it is also traditional to cook peeled dices of potato and green beans in the pasta water and serve all together with the pasta for a more substantial meal.

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