30 Mar Partisan Pesto
Partisan Pesto Recipe
Classic, simple and oh so delicious. Do you have a passion for pesto ’cause we sure do!
Originating in Genoa, the capital city of the Liguria area in northern Italy, pesto traditionally consists of crushed garlic, pine nuts, coarse sea salt, basil leaves and a hard cheese such as Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino, all blended with olive oil.
Strictly speaking, pesto is a generic term for anything that is made by pounding; that is why the word is used for several pestos in Italy. Nonetheless, pesto alla genovese remains the most popular pesto in Italy and the rest of the world
Lets take a closer look
Parmigiano-Reggiano is an Italian hard, granular cheese that is produced from unpasturised cow’s milk and has aged 12-36 months.
The whole milk of the morning milking is mixed with the naturally skimmed milk (which is made by keeping milk in large shallow tanks to allow the cream to separate) of the previous evening’s milking, resulting in a part skim mixture. This mixture is pumped into copper-lined vats, which heat evenly and contribute copper ions to the mix.
The average Parmigiano-Reggiano wheel is about 18–24 cm high, 40–45 cm in diameter, and weighs 38 kg.
Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It’s mainly made in the Mediterranean, primarily in Italy, Spain and Greece. Much like wine-making, climate, soil and the way the olives are harvested and pressed all have an impact on an oil’s character.
Olive oil is assessed on three criteria – fruitiness, bitterness and pepperiness – the flavour, smell and colour can vary radically, both according to its origin, as well as whether it’s extra virgin (the finest grade) or not.
Pecorino is a hard italian cheese made with ewes milk, ideal if you’re looking for a pesto thats lower in lactose.
Available in many different varieties, most pecorino is produced on the island of Sardinia, though its production is also allowed in Lazio and in the Tuscan provinces of Grosseto and Siena.
All come in a variety of styles depending on how long they have been aged. The more matured cheeses, referred to as stagionato (“seasoned” or “aged”), are harder but still crumbly in texture and have decidedly buttery and nutty flavours.
Our foolproof pesto recipe //
- A big bunch (75g) of fresh basil
- A large handful of pine nuts
- 100g of grated parmesan or pecorino
- 2 tsps course sea salt
- A peeled garlic clove
- Olive oil (enough to form concistency you like)
- Optional – A squeeze of fresh lemon juice
- Pop the salt and garlic clove in a pestle and pound until soft
- Pick the leaves from your basil and roughly chop, add this to the mortar and continue to bash until a paste forms (alternatively you can blitz in a food processor)
- Lightly toast the pine nuts and once cooled, add to the mixture and pound again.
- Stir in half the cheese and drizzle in some oil, give it one last final pound.
- Add most of the remaining cheese and season with salt and pepper. Keep adding oil until you have the consistency you like. Add the remainder of the cheese if needed.
- We like to add a squeeze of lemon juice at the end for a lovely citrusy sharpness but this is optional.
- Use straight away or will keep for up to a week in a jar in the fridge
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