Presto Pesto

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Presto Pesto
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Brilliant green and exploding with the flavors of summer, this variation on the classic pasta sauce took first place in out cook-off because of its secret ingredient: a sprig of parsley. Pesto means "pounded" in Italian, but we use a food processor for its speed and ease instead of the traditional mortar and pestle.

What you'll need

  • 2 cups packed basil leaves
  • 4 sprigs Italian parsley
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • Pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 pound pasta, such as fusilli
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped (optional)

How to make it

  1. In a food processor, combine the basil leaves, parsley, and garlic. Add the salt, pine nuts, and olive oil. Blend to a creamy butter consistency. Add more oil, if necessary, and pepper to taste. Finally, add the Parmesan cheese.

  2. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain it in a colander, then transfer to a large serving bowl. Toss with the pesto and garnish with chopped tomatoes, if desired. Serves 8 to 10.

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