I can't help it. I love cheese. Cheese mixed with pasta. Cheese mixed with garlic and basil and nuts and extravirginoliveoilgoodness. This is why I could never be vegan, kids. THIS IS WHY. Cheese would be my kryptonite. You'd just bring cheese into the room, wave it around, and I'd start convulsing on the floor until I had some.
A few nights ago, I satisfied my mad craving for cheese when Cori and I decided to make pesto. Not just any pesto... but the ultimate basil pesto. Classic, no frills, with home-grown basil pesto. I encourage you to try it as soon as possible. I swear, it takes no time at all to make and the resounding applause you'll get at the dinner table with be worth the five minutes it took to make. And you'll get CHEESE. Just note that I had a sous chef with me in the kitchen by way of my girlfriend, Cori. If you are unfortunate enough not to have Cori (which I'm assuming all of you fall into this category), I suggest you go out and find yourself the best replacement you can. Although, there will be less butt grabbing I'm sure.
Kasey & Cori's Effing Amazing Pesto
2 cups (pack it in there) fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup toasted walnuts (or pine nuts, pecans or hazelnuts would work, too - I'm not particular here)
3 garlic cloves (go big or go home, kids)
A couple pinches of salt and pepper (but you'll be adding more to your taste preferences later anyway)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated parmeggiano reggiano (do NOT use the green canned crap, or I will beat you with it)
1 pound heavy pasta (linguini or any short cut pasta works here - we chose bowtie)
In a food processor, put in your basil, nuts, garlic, salt and pepper.
Pulse it, and pulse it real good (aka finely chopped).
With your food processor running, drizzle in your olive oil until it forms a smooth and thick consistency. Don't worry about it being too thick - I gotcha covered later on. Transfer pesto to a medium bowl and stir in your cheese. Taste and adjust your salt/pepper ratio. Try NOT to eat it right out of the bowl, please. Just set it aside and walk away.
Boil your pasta. I'm going to assume you know how to do this.
When the pasta is done, add about a 1/3 cup of the pasta liquid to the pesto and stir. Then add your drained pasta and toss to combine. When you get to the serving bit, top with extra shaved cheese and a spring of basil. As you can see, I did neither of those two things here... I was too damned hungry.