Ages and ages ago I saw on BBC TV how pesto is made. It involved a marble mortar and pestle and much slow grinding of pine nuts and dribblings of olive oil, you know, the old mama cucina way, with sun dappled Tuscany mountain view a requisite backdrop. That kind of intimidated me and thereafter I only ever ordered pasta with pesto sauce in restaurants. Eventually I stopped eating pesto altogether, because restaurant versions became watered down or weirder e.g. crusted on salmon steaks, and it kind of fell out of fashion. Readily available commercial versions didn't help either, most are too salty or taste like crushed up grass.
Fast forward to May 2009. I went to BHV and was so seduced by the Magimix demo (grated carrots!, coleslaw!, aioili! the chef magicked them all up on the spot) that I bought one on the spot. There was a recipe for pesto in the manual, and looking around my pantry and fridge I did have all the ingredients on hand. Chunks of 26 month old organic parmesan, fresh basil, pinenuts sitting in the fridge waiting for this very fate ( I toasted them slightly but it was quite a redundant move), couple of cloves of garlic, olive oil and salt. As simple as that. I think the proportions was something like 2 cloves garlic: 200g nuts: 200g cheese: 1 bunch of basil.
All the dry ingredients together with half the basil leaves were pulsed with a little olive oil and salt until roughly chopped, then the rest of the basil went in and the button pressed to "blend". Olive oil was dribbled in until the pesto became creamy, et voila, we had pesto. The kid licked the spoon and pronounced it yummy. I thought we would smear it on toast but we ended up eating it neat as it was so delicious.
I saved some to dress some linguini the next day, mamma mia it was a good lunch.