For transformations more precious than the sum of their parts, it is always preferable to buy the best quality ingredients you can afford, especially in these simple pesto and salsa recipes that rely heavily on the characteristsics of their ingredients.
Aside from dressing pasta, pesto can be used as a flavor bomb in soups and stews. It can also be combined with equal amounts of bread crumbs for a tasty crust or crumb mixed with cream cheese for a simple dip or served plain on bruschetta.
2 large handfuls of fresh basil (leaves only, stems removed)
1-2 garlic cloves
1-2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted in a dry pan
flaky salt and freshy ground pepper
1 ounce pecorino cheese grated
1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated
extra virgin olive oil
Place the basil leaves in a stone mortar together with the garlic, toasted pine nuts and a pinch of sea salt. Crush the ingredients to release their flavors, taking care not to be rough as this will spoil the texture of the finished pesto.
Add the cheeses.
Pour in a fine steady stream of oil, stirring until you reach your chosen consistency (depending for what recipe you are using it).
Adjust the seasoning.