The start of summer means the start of homemade basil pesto. Homemade pesto is a million times better than anything you will buy in the stores and is not very hard. I always make pesto with a mortar and pestle. It allows me to control the consistency and I like being able to see it all come together right in front of your eyes rather than whizzing everything in a blender. This recipe, like many others, is straight Italian Food Safari (Lucio Galletto) and adding potatoes and green beans is a nice variation to traditional basil pesto dishes.
It’s hard to call this a dish but nevertheless I can guarantee they will be popular with your kids and your big kids too. The dipping sauces are mayo with basil pesto, mustard and sweet chilli. The nuggets are simply chicken breasts cut into small pieces, dipped into a batter, and deep fried for 3-4 minutes. Leave to cool a little then enjoy.
Be careful not to cut the chicken too small as they will fall apart when deep fried.
This dish combines 3 of my favourites… pasta, chicken and basil pesto (homemade of course). There is something therapeutic about making pesto in a mortar & pestle. It takes longer than a blender but you have better control over the outcome. Cook the pasta till al dente, add the warm chicken then coat with plenty of pesto and top with parmesan cheese and drizzle with olive oil. I love parmesan cheese so find myself always going back for extra toppings mid-way through!
In Genoa, one of my students said he would only eat his Nonna’s homemade basil pesto. I didn’t truly appreciate what he meant until I started making it myself. You won’t go back to pesto from a jar if you make it yourself. I prefer to use the mortar and pestle to control the consistency of the ingredients but you can use a food processor.