The Pastafarian’s Ex Post Exacto Pesto (plus sun-dried tomato bruschetta)

I was at the grocery today about to buy some pesto when I realized I could probably make it myself, bring out some bolder flavors, and have something to post.  See also:

Half credit on this one

I think your base pesto only really needs five ingredients.  I kind of just dumped them all in a food processor and then looked at how much I used based on how much was left in the package, container, etc.  I’m calling this the ex post exacto technique – make your food first, then figure out how much of each ingredient you used if you really need to know.  Can’t say this will lead to any consistency in your cooking, but it takes less planning, and having ill-defined ends stokes creativity from the means…

What you need (besides your favorite pasta):

  • Basil (12 oz)
  • Pine nuts (2.5 oz)
  • Garlic (3 cloves, left this pesto pretty garlicky, but I love that)
  • Freshly shaved or grated parmesan cheese (2.5 oz)
  • Olive oil (to taste, no idea how much I added but start small and work your way up)
  • Optional: romano or any other cheeses

What you do:

  1. Put everything in a food processor and blend.  I like to start with a light coating of olive oil and add more if necessary
  2. Toss with your favorite pasta

What to serve it with

You’ll notice in the photo there is a nice sun-dried tomato brushchetta going on. That’s store-bought but freshly made.  Bruschetta is also fairly easy to make, and I really enjoyed this one with sundried tomatos and jalapenos.  I like my bruschetta to have a fightin’ spirit, either with garlic or other feisty flavors (in this case jalapeno), so it hit the spot.

So here’s the ingredients for the sundried tomato bruschetta

  • Tomatoes
  • Roasted sundried tomatoes
  • Olive Oil
  • Parsley
  • Jalapenos
  • Onions
  • Garlic

Just chop and mix, like a salsa, and serve on top of toasted ciabatta bread. For the ingredients I just looked at what was on the container –  you’ll absolutely have to use the ex post exacto method if we want any measurable quantities.  Let me know how much you use and maybe we can add them later!


3 thoughts on “The Pastafarian’s Ex Post Exacto Pesto (plus sun-dried tomato bruschetta)

  1. I love the “ex post exacto” technique. In Chicago I was making tons of pesto and Munerantz grew interested. He threw all ingredients in the processor (basil, pine nuts, garlic, parmesan, and olive oil), hit the button and was really disappointed, the pesto was really stringy and fibrous. Why? He didn’t pluck the basil leaves from the stem and instead threw in entire bunches of basil. Lesson: basil leaves make pesto, not basil plants. Don’t be a Munerantz. Just as a rough guide, I’ll use about 2-3 buches of farmer’s market basil, two garlic cloves per bunch, about a 1/4 cup of pine nuts. I process the pine nuts first, then add the garlic and puree, adding the basil and drizzling olive oil until happy with the texture. Then I add the grated parmesan into a mixing bowl (also roughly 1/4 cup – a 1:1 ratio with the pine nuts), mix with a wooden spoon and season with salt and pepper if needed.

  2. Oh, I love it. I almost think I could totally make this. BTW, you could also position this as an advice column, seeing as how you have a great bit of advice that applies to cooking, life, pants, pets, beer, bench presses, etc. “Smart small and work your way up.”

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