Every summer, and into autumn at Connecticut Country House, we turn out batches and batches of wonderful (if we do say so ourselves!) pesto.

While we love our tried and true classic recipe, sometimes we like to be adventurous by swapping out some of the ingredients. The experiments that we’ve developed in our pesto making factory/kitchen and tasting lab, are all similar in taste profile, but different enough to make it difficult to choose which version is our favorite.

A fun thing to do with the family, is to cook up a pot of pasta, and give everyone a little sampling of each, trying one pesto at a time.

Go ahead. Try and pick your favorite.

Happy cooking!

Love, Nora

Classic Country House Pesto

Ingredients:

4 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves, stems removed

3 large garlic cloves, peeled

½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

½ cup pignoli (pine) nuts

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

In a food processor, chop the nuts and garlic until fine. Add the basil and let it go until it forms a semi-smooth paste. While the machine is going, drizzle in the olive oil and process until smooth. Add the Parmesan cheese and process to incorporate. If the consistency of the resulting pesto is too thick, just drizzle in a little more olive oil and pulse to incorporate.

Follow these directions for all variations.

Variations:

Traditional Pesto with Walnuts

Use the same ingredients as the original Classic Country House Pesto, but replace the pignoli nuts for ½ cup toasted walnuts.

 

Basil & Arugula Pesto

Ingredients:

2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves – stems removed

2 cups loosely packed arugula

3 large garlic cloves, peeled

½ cup pignoli (pine) nuts

½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

 

Basil & Arugula Pesto with Lemon

Ingredients:

2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves – stems removed

2 cups loosely packed arugula

3 large garlic cloves, peeled

½ cup pignoli (pine) nuts

½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

3 tablespoons of grated lemon zest (Murph uses a microplane)

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

 

Arugula Pesto

Ingredients:

4 cups loosely packed arugula

3 large garlic cloves, peeled

½ cup toasted walnuts

½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

 

Arugula Pesto with Lemon

Ingredients:

4 cups loosely packed arugula

3 large garlic cloves, peeled

½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

3 tablespoons of grated lemon zest

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

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