I have loved Mario Batali, since I first saw him on Iron Chef America…or maybe longer?!
I love his style, his unique personality and, yes, his food! I have read one of his cookbooks, Molto Italiano, from cover to cover…cooking all along the way.
But, nothing prepared me for a dining experience in his restaurant “Babbo” http://babbonyc.com in New York City, with my son, this past August! Of, course, then I needed the Babbo Cookbook- – which I am in love with. Believe me, our trip (which we named “Mother/Son Eating Tour of New York City!) will be a separate entry all unto itself! A trip to Babbo was the perfect beginning to an adventure that we will always cherish! Not only did we eat our way through New York City (for 4 days), but we laughed, met great New Yorkers and made friends from all over the world…even at a Hookahs Bar!
But, getting back to Mario Batali in my garden…
After becoming obsessed with the Caprese Salad Sandwich from The Saints Street Inn http://saintstreetinn.com, I started seeking out “the perfect pesto recipe”. I wanted one that wasn’t too oily and would sit perfectly on top of fresh ripe tomatoes and mozzarella cheese all within a slightly crispy cibatta roll… Thumbing through Batali’s cookbooks – there it was – HIS recipe for pesto.
Since I have a tub of basil growing and thriving on my front porch, this would be easy!!! And his recipe is the best pesto I have ever eaten…
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts (do not toast!)
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano
- 10 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
In a food processor or large stone mortar, place pine nuts, basil, garlic and salt and blend until paste. Add cheese and drizzle in olive oil. You can store in a jar, refrigerated, topping with a very thin coating of extra virgin olive oil to just cover the pesto. This will keep for up to one week! Thank you, Chef Batali!
Go ahead, and get your own herbs growing! I grow all of mine in pots on my front porch…just need part sun and a lot of water. The more you use them, the more they grow – some will even survive winter! It really brings a freshness and brightness to all of your dishes that you prepare. Works? You better believe it! Mario Batali can sit in my garden anytime…if only…