Basil season is coming to an end. That means I'm whipping up tons of "Pesto Packets" to last me through winter. A little bit of work now will lead to a easy dinner of pasta, pesto and shrimp or scallops during the holiday season all the way through the spring thaw.
On our last trip to the Food Coop in Brooklyn we bought up three huge bunches of basil. Or if you are a gardener, you might be heavy on the basil at the end of the growing season. This will give me about five 1- 1/14 cup servings of pesto per packet. I have made this recipe so many times that I simply eyeball the measurements but here are my rough estimates.
2 cups loose basil leaves. Cleaned and drained in salad spinner.
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup parmesan grated cheese
1 clove garlic (peeled)
2 tsp pine nuts (you can also substiture walnuts)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Toss all the above into your food processor and blend until smooth. Label and store in ziploc containers. When you are ready to eat, defrost overnight in fridge. After you have cooked your pasta. Add the pesto to the saucepan, pour the drained pasta back in over the pesto and mix well.
Tip: Don't worry if you get a few basil stems in the mix. It all gets pulverized. I used to spend WAY too much time pulling the leaves off the stems.
I love this recipe on angel hair pasta, it's also great to toss in some extra spinach or peas to load this up with vegetables. We love this in the winter for a quick mid-week meal or for Meat-free Monday.
Do you have a favorite recipe to freeze? I find this kind of cooking extremely family-friendly. Batch cooking is the best!