I have just read 'How to make Pesto like an Italian Grandmother' from 101cookbooks.com and have to say I am jealous.
I have always loved pesto, I even remember being caught by my mum and dad as a kid eating it straight from the jar.
Quite often I make my own pesto and have always made it in either a food processor or blender. Although I have always loved the flavour of my home-made pesto, I do have to admit that the 'homogenized emulsion' (as Heidi rightly phrases it) that I end up with doesn't.
The idea of chopping all the ingredients is so simple but revolutionary to my pesto fixation. Instead of adding the pesto emulsion to my pastas or my delicate ricotta gnocchi, this new chopped pesto is fantastic. The pesto doesn't stay in a clump because the fats from the pine nuts, Parmesan and olive oil don't have a chance to emulsify like in mayonnaise or a vinaigrette. Instead each ingredient from the tiny flecks of basil, to the garlic separate from each other with the heat of the pasta or gnocchi and coat it perfectly.
This is a new awakening to my world of pesto. I now know that I will always enjoy my ricotta gnocchi with a beautiful pesto.
All I can say is that I wish I had an Italian Grandmother to have shown me all of this years ago!
Go check out 101.cookbooks.com