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Kim's Kitchen Perfect Pesto

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    Basil is one of my favorite things about Spring. When the ground is warm enough to dig into, this delicious herb is the first thing I plant – seeds or seedlings. The smell and taste of this classic herb is something I look forward to every year!
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    Pesto is a simple paste made with fresh basil or parsley (or a combination of both), olive oil, nuts, garlic, parmesan cheese and salt. Since you are using just a few ingredients be sure to use the freshest ingredients you can find. Fresher is better, it’s all about quality over quantity in this recipe.
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    I have fresh basil growing just a few feet from my kitchen door, so this recipe is a frequent guest at our dinner table.
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    Traditionally pesto is made with pine nuts, however, I use cashews as they are a little less expensive and I usually have them in-stock. Toast the nuts at 350 for about 5 min or till golden brown. This extra step really enhances the flavor of the nuts.
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    Wash the basil and discard the stems and any discolored leaves, pat dry and place the leaves in a blender or food processor along with the garlic, parmesan cheese, salt and nuts.
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    Blend/pulse the cheese, garlic, salt, nuts and basil together and gradually add the olive oil until the mixture resembles a smooth paste.
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    Pour the basil onto the cooked pasta and toss till well coated. If needed, add more olive oil to moisten the noodles.
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    This pesto pasta makes a great light meal on its own. Add a green salad and grilled chicken if desired.
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    INGREDIENTS: 1/2 cup parmesan cheese (finely shredded). 1 clove of garlic. 1 tsp. salt. 1/2 cup of pine nuts or cashews (toasted). 3 – 4 cups of fresh basil (stems removed). 1/2 cup olive oil. whole grain or whole wheat pasta noodles.