It started last week. Maybe it was two weeks ago. I can’t remember. It’s just a long, basil-scented haze at this point and I don’t know when or how it’ll end up, but I’m in love with making pesto sauce.
The idea of making my own pesto came to me around two years ago, when I noticed that Classico’s jars were okay for cooking with, but, straight up on pasta, it tasted a little woody and had a kind of scratchy texture. I don’t know about you, but scratchy isn’t my favorite food texture.
Fast forward to February when I’m prepping my garden beds. I decide that I’m growing my own basil and I’m going to be channeling Genoan grandmothers from the sun-drenched past. But I didn’t bargain on Vancouver’s short growing season and that basil needs heat and sun and every advantage I could give it, so I didn’t get much of a crop last year.
This year, I started early and put it in raised beds, protected and babied the little shoots, and it turns out I’ve got a lot of basil. It’s going to be a lot of pesto.
But I wasn’t just going to make my pesto unprepared or unthought-out. I went and bought some to experiment with. In the first batch, the raw garlic was too pungent. So I upped the garlic from two cloves to two bulbs, roasted them, and at a friend’s suggestion, toasted the pine nuts.
Result: Pesto Nirvana is at my house, people. I’m eating it sometimes twice a day. Making it whenever I have an hour to kill and freezing it in ice cube trays. And I haven’t even started using my babied, beloved, home-grown basil yet.
I don’t care if I never eat another kind of pasta sauce. I’m in love with pesto.