I love to make fresh pesto. If you have a pot of fresh basil growing on the window sill in your kitchen, a few nuts in the store cupboard and parmesan cheese in your fridge, then it is a very easy stand-by dish when you need to rustle something up for lunch. I had not been shopping at the weekend (too much ice cream testing got in the way) and my husband was looking disappointingly in the fridge that there was nothing for lunch. So as not to fail in my wifely duties, I rustled up this pesto, served with simple spaghetti - he said the dish transported him back to our holiday in Puglia a few years ago (which I take a compliment as the food in Puglia was so good) and all was forgiven for not having made it to the supermarket!
Pistachio and Truffle Pesto
2 handfuls of fresh basil leaves
3 tbsp of pistachios
1 tsp truffle salt or a few drops of truffle oil (the more the better in my view but I like truffle)
1 clove garlic, peeled
3 tbsp olive oil
fresh ground pepper (and salt if you are using truffle oil rather than truffle salt)
3 tbsp freshly grated parmesan
Place the salt basil and pistachios in a large pestle and morter with the garlic clove and bash everything to a smooth paste, add the oil gradually together with the parmesan and pepper and grind together. This pesto is best used on the day it is made but will store in the fridge for a few days covered with a little olive oil.
Reaching the final of Masterchef 2007 was a rollercoaster of emotion, with huge highs and lows, but I loved every minute and learnt a huge amount. I owe a great deal to John and Gregg who had faith in my ability when I did not believe in myself. Since competing on the programme my life has changed considerably. I now write cookery columns for two magazines, give cookery demonstrations and am just working on my 13th cook book - unlucky number for some but not for me!!! I love all forms of country cooking, using seasonal and locally sourced produce. This blog is to enable me to share with you a few of my recipes and baking ideas. Enjoy Hannah xxxx