My school co-parent/good friend, Annette Alberto, had us dine at their place sometime last year for a playdate with the kids and some good evening of chat with us, parents. Her spread of salpicao, pasta and salad left me bewitched big time as we left their crib. I specifically took fancy on the pasta (of red sauced spaghetti) siding that perfectly blended with her spaghetti. She said it was to add a new dimension to the taste of the spaghetti. And what dimension it was!
I held back my peace and never asked EXACTLY what went into the sauce but the most I gathered from her was that she put parsley, olive oil and garlic. Okay, the parsley was to be the sauce’s lead star.
Fast forward to today, I readied the chopping board for some tedious chopping of parsley, garlic and to be swigged into a good kind of olive oil. Yes, I made pesto, alright, although I had second thoughts calling it “pesto” in the strictest sense of what it means.
Pesto is a traditional Italian sauce, made up of basil leaves, olive oil, garlic, parmesan cheese and a handful of pine nuts. It is usually incorporated into pasta noodles, brushed onto crusty breads or used in flavoring grains, meats and other dish staples.
The sauce I made defied a coupla things– First, the basil was replaced by pasrley, it used LOTS of chopped garlic, did away with pine nuts (or any nuts for that matter) and used parsley leaves instead of basil leaves. Hand made and not blender-produced, ha! But lemme tell you– THIS WAS SO GOOD!
The unique characteristic of parsley is in its subtle “fresh” taste. It was a welcome departure from the usual strong and sometimes overpowering taste of say, basil or rosemary.
Bottle it up, use it the way you use basil pesto– you’re good!
Thanks Annette for the inspiration. Parsley is my new basil! Mabuhay ka!
3 cups parsley leaves (curly or flat), finely chopped
1 1/2 cups olive oil
2 heads of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients. Do not use food processor. You may store for future use.