Posts Tagged With: Herbs

Beetroot ravioli with goats cheese and mint

The pasta dough will need to rest for about an hour, so each class makes for the next, so gets straight down to rolling for the ravioli!


Fresh from the garden: chives, mint
Recipe source: adapted from a recipe by Martha Stewart
Makes: 48 small ravioli


·       Pasta machines

·       A selection of mixing bowls

·       Salad spinner, paper towel

·       Chopping board & knife

·       Large metal spoon, teaspoons

·       Crinkly or pizza cutter

·       Pastry brush

·       2 baking trays

·       A large stockpot & small saucepan

·       Slotted spoon

·       Colander

·       Serving bowls


·       1 quantity 500g beetroot pasta (complete first 8 points then continue with this recipe)

·       200g ricotta

·       150g goats cheese at room temperature

·       10 chives

·       2 sprigs mint

·       Semolina flour or fine polenta, for dusting

·       Cooking salt

·       Flaked salt & black pepper

·       Extra-virgin olive oil

·       50g salted butter

What to do:

  1. Fill the stockpot with water and set to heat to a rolling boil.

To make the filling:

  1. Wash and pat dry the mint and chives. Weigh the cheeses out. Saving one mint sprig for garnish, finely chop the leaves from the other to yield about 2 tablespoons worth. Snip the chives into tiny pieces & stir the herbs together with cheeses. Season with salt and pepper.

To make the ravioli:

  1. Dust a baking sheet and your work surface with the semolina flour. Working with each sheet of dough just after it’s been rolled, lay the sheet down on your dusted surface.
  2. Space tablespoons of filling about 10cm apart along just about a quarter in of the strip. Fold the top half over, and then gently press around filling to seal, working from centre out.
  3. Using a cutter, cut between each ravioli to separate. Transfer ravioli to sheet, and cover with a clean tea towel. Repeat with remaining pasta dough and filling.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons of salt to the boiling water in the stockpot and half of the ravioli. Cook, stirring once or twice to separate, for about 4 minutes until edges are just tender.
  5. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a colander to drain. Drizzle with oil, and toss gently to coat. Transfer to a bowl, and loosely cover to keep warm. Repeat with remaining ravioli.
  6. Meanwhile, once all the ravioli is almost cooked, melt the butter in the small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until butter is golden brown and has a nutty aroma for about 4 minutes.
  7. Divide ravioli among plates (if first batch has cooled, return them to hot water for 15 seconds, then drain). Spoon browned butter over ravioli. Serve immediately garnished with the mint.

Notes: To freeze ravioli, place in a single layer on baking sheets in the freezer for about 15 minutes, and then pack in airtight container. Freeze for up to 1 month. Do not thaw before cooking.

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Bruschetta with zucchini, feta and basil


Bruschetta: Italian for open sandwich! You can use pretty much anything you want but we love this zucchini version.

Fresh from the garden: zucchini, lemon, garlic, basil
Recipe source: Melissa
Serves: 8 or 24


  • Grill trays
  • Chopping board & knife
  • Measures: ¼ cup, tablespoon, ¼ teaspoon
  • Pastry brush
  • A selection of mixing bowls
  • A clean, dry tea towel
  • Graters
  • Garlic press
  • Microplane grater
  • Salad spinner
  • Large frying pan
  • Serving plates

  • A loaf of good sourdough
  • Olive oil
  • 3 zucchini
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1 lemon
  • ¼ teaspoon chilli flakes (optional)
  • Flaked salt and black pepper
  • 50g Danish feta
  • About 10 basil leaves

What to do:

  1. Preheat the grill on high.
  2. Slice the loaf in half lengthwise and then slice each half into small slices – you will need about 15 from each half-loaf. Measure 1/4 cup of olive oil into a small bowl and then brush each slice with oil. Place the bread on the grill trays and slide into the top level of the oven to grill for about 1 minute or so each side. Remove when done.
  3. Wash the zucchini and shake dry, then grate them on to a clean tea towel, then pull up the sides and twist and squeeze tightly over a large bowl to remove as much liquid as possible. Drain and wipe the bowl out and tip the grated zucchini into it.
  4. Peel and crush the garlic. Wash the basil, picking the leaves off and spin-drying them before finely chopping or tearing them into little pieces.
  5. Wash the lemon, then dry it and using the microplane grater, zest the lemon.
  6. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil into the frying pan over medium heat. Add the zucchini and garlic (and chilli flakes if using) and stir-fry for about 5 minutes until zucchini has softened without browning. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper. Cool for 5 minutes.
  7. Weigh the feta and then crumble it in to the zucchini, adding in the lemon zest and basil.
  8. Place the toasted bruschetta slices onto serving plates, spoon the zucchini mixture on and serve!

Notes: Why do we squeeze the zucchini through the tea towel? What is another name for zucchini? How do you pronounce bruschetta?

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Silverbeet and garam masala soup

Garam is the Hindi word for hot, and masala, spice mixture. We often make our own garam masala blend of ground cumin, coriander, ginger and turmeric, cayenne and mustard seeds at school but it is commonly available in the spice section of any supermarket, already blended.


Fresh from the garden: silverbeet (Swiss chard), onion, potatoes, garlic, coriander

Recipe source: Melissa

Serves: 6 or 24 tastes


  • Kettle
  • Chopping boards and knives
  • Selection of mixing bowls
  • Paper towel
  • Stockpot
  • Flat-ended wooden spoon
  • Measures: jug, tablespoon, teaspoon
  • Garlic press
  • Ladle
  • Stick blender
  • Serving bowls

  • 1.5 litres boiling water and 2 tablespoons bouillon (or 1.5 litres vegetable stock)
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 1 brown onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • A large bunch of silverbeet
  • Olive oil
  • A heaped teaspoon garam masala
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Flaked salt
  • A small handful of coriander

What to do:

  1. Fill the kettle to 1.5 litres and set it to boil.
  2. Wash or scrub the potatoes under running water (but don’t peel!) and then coarsely chop into 2cm cubes.
  3. Peel the onion and slice into two halves, then finely chop. Peel and chop the garlic.
  4. Wash the silverbeet & shake over the sink. Finely chop the silverbeet, using the whole stalk and leaves as well.
  5. Pour olive oil to cover the base of the stockpot and heat over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add the chopped onion and cook on low, stirring every now and then, for 5 minutes and then add the potato and cook for another few minutes.
  6. Add in the garlic, chopped silverbeet and the garam masala and stir together. Cook very gently for a minute until aromatic.
  7. Increase heat to high. Add the 1½ litres of hot water and the 2 tablespoons of bouillon and bring to the boil, then simmer gently, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until the potato is almost tender.
  8. Meanwhile wash and pat the coriander dry and finely chop.
  9. When the soup is ready and the potato is soft, grind a little bit of pepper in too and taste to see if you need to add any extra salt.
  10. Add in the coriander and then blitz the soup with the stick blender until it’s really smooth.
  11. Taste and add more salt if you need to.
  12. Ladle soup among serving bowls and serve!

 Notes: What do is silverbeet also known as? What is in the garam masala blend? Why do potato-based soups need more salt?

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Creamy polenta with poached eggs and sage

This is comfort food at its creamiest, with the frizzled sage leaves giving everything a crispy, savoury lift. Just be sure the eggs are very fresh and that the yolks are intact when they go in to poach!


From the garden: eggs, sage, bay

Recipe source: Melissa

Serves: 4 or 24 tastes


  • Chopping board & small knife
  • 1 heavy-based saucepan & lid and 1 small saucepan
  • Scales
  • Measures: jug, cup, 1/3 cup
  • Grater
  • Salad spinner & paper towel
  • Flat ended wooden spoon
  • Mixing bowls: 2 med, 4 small
  • Deep-sided frying pan
  • Serving bowls

  • 400ml milk
  • 600ml water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup polenta (cornmeal)
  • Cooking salt
  • 1/3 cup mascarpone
  • 50g grana padano parmesan
  • 50g butter
  • 4 very fresh large eggs
  • A branch of sage leaves
  • Flaked salt and black pepper

What to do:

  1. Measure the milk and water into the larger saucepan and pop in the bay leaf. Heat until almost boiling and then turn off and allow to infuse for 10 or 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile grate the parmesan, measure out the mascarpone and get the eggs ready by carefully and gently cracking each egg into its own separate small bowl – without breaking them!
  3. You can also wash and spin the sage leaves dry, separating if needed, and place them in the smaller saucepan. Weigh out the butter and place with the sage leaves.
  4. Removing the bay leaf from the milk mixture, heat the saucepan again and then sprinkle in the polenta and a teaspoon of cooking salt. Using the flat-ended wooden spoon stir continuously until it thickens and is not too grainy, about 10-20 minutes, depending on the variety of polenta.
  5. When the polenta is cooked, add the mascarpone and grated parmesan and mix until well combined. Taste for seasoning and add a little more salt if necessary. The polenta should be soft and creamy and only just hold its shape – you want a sloppy, porridge type consistency.
  6. About 5 mins before the polenta is ready, poach the eggs. Fill the deep-sided frying pan almost to the top with water and bring to a simmer. and then carefully slide into the water until they’re all in. Let the pan sit on a simmer for 4 minutes.
  7. When the eggs are almost ready, heat the butter and sage over medium heat until the butter is bubbling up and starting to turn brown and the leaves are crispy.
  8. To serve, pour out the polenta into serving bowls. Lift the eggs out of the water, drain, and then place one on top of each bowl. Season generously and scatter with the frizzled sage leaves & browned butter.

Notes: What is polenta? What is cooking by ‘absorption’ method? Why should we not break the egg yolks when poaching them? What is to simmer?


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Spring salad of broad beans, radish and goats cheese

This salad is a beautiful celebration of spring, with lots of lovely texture from the broad beans, crunch from the radishes and creaminess from the goats cheese. At school the children love to run out and find edible flowers like nasturtiums or borage to garnish their salads. And if the broad beans are particularly small or very young, we don’t both to double-pod them.


Fresh from the garden: lettuces, broad beans, radishes, marjoram, edible flowers

Recipe source: Melissa

Serves: 6 or 24 tastes


  • Saucepan & lid
  • Bowls – 2 large, 2 med, 2 small
  • Colander
  • 2 salad spinners
  • Paper towel
  • Mandoline slicer
  • Potato peeler
  • Measuring – 1/4 cup, tablespoon, teaspoon
  • A small jar with lid
  • Plates or bowls to serve

  • A handful of lettuce leaves
  • A large handful broad beans in pod
  • A small handful of radishes
  • 2 sprigs marjoram
  • A small log of goats’ cheese
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • A teaspoon of honey
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Flaked salt & black pepper
  • Edible flowers

What to do:

  1. Fill the saucepan with water & set to boil on high heat.
  2. Pod the broad beans, discarding the outer shell into the compost and add beans to the boiling water. Fill a large bowl with cold water and have ready.
  3. Boil the broad beans for 3 minutes, drain and then immediately refresh in the bowl of cold water. Drain again and double-pod by slipping the outer shell off into the compost. Reserve beans.
  4. Wash the lettuce leaves really well and spin dry in sections, reserving in a large clean, dry bowl. Wash & dry the marjoram sprigs, picking the leaves and leaving whole.
  5. Wash the flowers gently in a small bowl of cold water and reserve on a piece of paper towel until ready to use.
  6. Scrub the radishes clean, wipe dry and using the mandoline or a peeler, carefully slice into thin discs.
  7. For the dressing, measure the olive oil, red wine vinegar and honey and pour them into the jar. Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and then put the lid on & give the jar a good shake.
  8. Drizzle the dressing around the large lettuce bowl and gently turn the leaves with your fingers.
  9. Place the leaves in the serving bowls, then pour the broad beans, radish slices and snap peas into the bowl and mix to cover in the residual dressing. Then sprinkle over each bowl of leaves.
  10. Break the goats cheese into small chunks with your fingers and divide over the salads with the marjoram leaves.
  11. Finish by carefully placing the flowers on top of the bowls of salad. Serve immediately!

Notes: What does residual mean? Why do we use honey vinaigrette here instead of our usual lemony dressing? Can you name some edible flowers?


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Quick pesto for the roasted pumpkin

This quantity of sauce is perfect for the roasted pumpkin recipe – but don’t stop there! Also wonderful with steaming hot pasta or as part of an antipasto plate with feta or goats’ cheese, roasted capsicum and garlicky bruschetta – or even added to toasted cheese sandwiches!


Fresh from the garden: basil, garlic
Recipe source: Melissa
Makes: about 1 1/2 cups


  • Scales
  • Bowls – big, medium
  • Salad spinner
  • Grater
  • Small frying pan
  • Food processor
  • Chopping board and small knife
  • Spatula
  • Measuring jug
  • Tablespoon & jar if needed
  • Serving bowls if needed

  • 1 bunch basil, to yield about 50g
  • 25g parmesan or grana padano
  • 40g pine nuts
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Flaked salt
  • 100ml extra-virgin olive oil plus extra

What to do:

  1. Pick the basil leaves from the stalks and weigh before you wash them!
  2. Then wash the basilin several changes of water, pick off the leaves and thoroughly spin-dry.
  3. Weigh then grate the parmesan.
  4. Heat the frying pan on a medium heat and lightly dry-toast the pine nuts, shaking regularly so that they don’t burn.
  5. Peel the garlic clove, chop it into small pieces and place in the bowl of the food processor with a good pinch of salt. Blend these to a paste and then add the pine nuts and blend again. Stir in the parmesan.
  6. Tear the basil leaves and put them into the mixture. Blending, gradually pour in all the olive oil. Scrape down with the spatula once or twice.
  7. Taste for salt and adjust if necessary.
  8. Serve, or if using later, spoon into a jar, pour in a thin layer of olive oil to cover, add the lid and refrigerate for up to 3 or 4 days.

Notes: Why do we weigh the basil before we wash it? Why do we weigh the parmesan before we grate it?

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Curried carrot soup with yoghurt and coriander

Curried carrot! The 70’s called and want their recipe back. But just see here how delicious it is…!

Fresh from the garden: carrots, onion, garlic, coriander
Recipe source: Melissa
Serves: 6 or 24 tastes


  • Stick blender & bowl attachment
  • Measures: tablespoons, teaspoons, ¼ teaspoon
  • Kettle
  • Mixing bowls, large, med, small
  • Chopping boards and knives
  • Peelers
  • Graters
  • Stockpot, wooden spoon
  • Scales
  • Ladle
  • Paper towel
  • Scissors
  • Serving bowls
  • Teaspoons



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 onions
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 litre boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon bouillon
  • 1kg carrots
  • A small handful coriander
  • 100g Greek yoghurt

Curry Powder

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

What to do:

  • To make the curry powder: Measure the spices into the small bowl of the stick blender and process to a fine powder.
  • Fill the kettle to the litre mark and set it to boil.
  • Peel and finely chop the onions. Peel and finely chop the garlic cloves.
  • Wash and peel the carrots, then grate them all and reserve in a large bowl.
  • Heat the oil in the large stockpot over medium heat. Add onion, 2 teaspoons of the curry powder blend and a grind of pepper. Cook stirring occasionally until the onion is soft for about 5 minutes. Add in the grated carrots and garlic, stir in and then sweat for 1 few minutes with the lid on and the heat low.
  • Carefully add the boiling water and bouillon and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes until the carrots are tender.
  • Meanwhile wash the coriander and pat it dry. Finely snip and reserve in a little bowl.
  • Puree the soup using the stick blender until super smooth and then check the seasoning. Weigh the yoghurt and then stir into the soup, creating a big whirl.
  • Ladle into soup bowls and serve garnished with the coriander.

Notes: What do the individual spices of the curry powder smell like? And then how do they smell when they’re all combined?

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Winter salad with poached eggs and roasted bits

We tend to veer towards slow-braised soups and stews in the winter, but I also love warm salads, blending crisp and green with warm and comforting, all in the one bowl…

Fresh from the garden: salad leaves, eggs, lemon, parsley, marjoram, thyme, coriander, chives
Recipe source: Melissa
Serves: 6 or 24 at home


  • Mixing bowls
  • Colander
  • Paper towel, tea towel
  • Chopping boards & knives
  • Measures:1/3 cup, tablespoon
  • 2 large baking trays
  • 2 salad spinners
  • Mortar & pestle
  • Citrus juicer
  • Mezzaluna
  • Whisk, tongs
  • Medium frying pan
  • Slotted spoon
  • Serving bowls



  • A handful Brussels sprouts leaves
  • A handful cauliflower florets
  • A big bunch salad leaves: mache, mizuna, rocket, lettuce
  • A large handful of herbs
  • A few garnishing flowers
  • 4 eggs
  • Ground coriander and cumin

Herby vinaigrette dressing

  • 1 clove garlic
  • Flaked salt & black pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • A small handful mixed herbs: parsley, marjoram, thyme, coriander, chives

What to do:

  • Preheat the oven the 180C.Wash the Brussels sprout leaves and cauliflower in a bowl of cold water, refilling if needed. Drain and pat dry with paper towel. Strip the leaves from the stalks and cut into ribbons. Cut the cauli into smaller florets. Turn the cauliflower into a clean dry bowl and sprinkle over a tablespoon of olive oil, a sprinkle of salt, ground coriander and ground cumin and mix to combine. Place on the baking tray and then add the Brussels sprout leaves, add another tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle of salt etc. to the bowl. Lay the leaves out on a separate baking tray.
  • Roast the cauliflower for 20 minutes, then slide the tray of Brussels sprout leaves into the oven and roast for a further 5 to 10 minutes, removing when crispy.
  • Fill up 2 big bowls with cold water & wash the salad leaves in several changes of water. Spin dry and wipe the bowls dry. Lay out the tea towel and line it with kitchen paper. Spread the salad leaves over the paper and roll the whole lot up like a log. Keep the rolled parcel of leaves in the fridge until needed.
  • Fill up a medium bowl with water and wash the herbs and small garnishing leaves. Spin dry and pick leaves, discarding stalks into compost. Pick the petals from the flowers and reserve in a small bowl with the garnishing leaves. Chop the herbs finely and keep separate in their own small bowl.
  • Peel the garlic clove and put it in the mortar with a large pinch of salt. Pound to a paste. Juice the lemon and add the juice to the mortar (without pips) then stir the lot with a teaspoon and scrape it into a clean bowl. Stir in the oil and grind some pepper, then whisk the dressing lightly. Wash and spin dry the herbs, pick off the leaves and chop finely in the mezzaluna. Add to the dressing.
  • Meanwhile, to poach eggs, fill the medium sized frying pan with water and bring to a simmer. Carefully crack each egg into its own small bowl without breaking it and then carefully slide into the water. Let the pan sit for 4 minutes on the barest simmer until done.
  • Carefully remove oven tray of veggies with oven mitts and leave to cool for a few minutes.
  • Unwrap the parcel of salad leaves & tip them into the bowl with the herbs and the dressing. Add in the roasted cauliflower & sprout leaves and gently turn the leaves in the dressing using a clean hand or tongs.
  • Pile up the dressed leaves into the serving bowls, carefully drain an egg using a slotted spoon and place in the centre of each bowl of salad with garnishing petals or leaves and serve immediately.

Notes: What else could you add to a warm winter salad? What is the best way of using a mortar and pestle? What does ground coriander smell like? How is it made?

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Green salad

The title is simple but the ingredients are many and varied! Just take care when washing young delicate leaves so that they don’t get squashed…

Fresh from the garden: rocket, lettuces, pea shoots, baby spinach, kale, spring onions, herbs
Recipe source: Melissa
Serves: 4 or 24 tastes


  • Mixing bowls – 3 big, 2 med, 2 small
  • Colanders
  • 2 salad spinners
  • Scissors
  • Paper towel
  • Measuring – 1/4 cup, tablespoon, teaspoon
  • A small jar with lid
  • Bowlsto serve



  • A few stalks of kale
  • A large handful of rocket
  • A large handful lettuce leaves
  • A large handful pea shoots
  • A large handful baby spinach
  • A small bunch of spring onions
  • Edible flowers
  • A handful baby nasturtium leaves
  • A bunch of aromatic herbs: marjoram, basil, thyme, coriander
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • A teaspoon of honey
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Flaked salt & black pepper

What to do:

  • Wash the kale and shake dry. Cut the leaves from the stalks and discard the stalks. Roll up the kale leaves into a tube shape and then finely slice into very thin ribbons.
  • Wash all the leaves & pea shoots in several large bowls and many changes of cold water, filling up the bowls with the water and gently swilling the leaves around, draining in the colander and checking each time for any dirt left in the water. Spin dry in handfuls, reserving the leaves in a large clean, dry bowl.
  • Wash and trim the spring onions, discarding any roots and browning layers. Using scissors, snip into tiny discs and add to the bowl of prepared leaves and shoots.
  • Reserve the edible flowers and nasturtium leaves in a small bowl of cold water. When ready to use, drain on a piece of paper towel and use for the garnish.
  • Wash & dry the herb sprigs, leaving small leaves whole and chopping or snipping with scissors any large leaves and the coriander stalks into tiny pieces.
  • For the dressing, measure the olive oil, vinegar and honey and pour them into the jar. Add all the herbs with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, then put the lid on & give the jar a good shake.
  • Drizzle the dressing around the leaves and gently turn the leaves with your fingers so that all the leaves are covered. Lift out and drain the dressed leaves, dividing into serving bowls.
  • Finish by popping the edible flowers and nasturtium leaves on top of the bowls of salad. Serve immediately!

Notes: Why do we have to be so gentle when preparing these leaves and pea shoots? What is vinaigrette? What do the edible flowers taste like?

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Penne pesto

For a spicy alternative, rocket leaves can be added to the basil and pounded together or you could try a parsley combination… cooked chickpeas can be used in place of pine nuts in case of nut allergy, and gluten free pasta works fantastically!

Fresh from the garden: basil, garlic
Recipe source: pesto adapted from a recipe by Alice Waters in The Art of Simple Food
Serves: 4 or 24 tastes


  • Large saucepan or stockpot
  • Mixing bowls – 4 mixed sizes
  • Scales
  • Salad spinner
  • Cheese grater
  • Medium frying pan
  • Mortar & pestle
  • Tea towel
  • Measuring jug
  • Spatula
  • Tablespoon
  • Serving bowls

  • 250g dried penne
  • 1 big bunch basil, to yield about 100g
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • Salt
  • 80g pine nuts
  • 50g parmesan cheese – grana padano or parmigiano
  • 200ml extra virgin olive oil


What to do:

  • Fill the large saucepan or stockpot with water and set it to boil.
  • Weigh the pasta and add it to the pot when boiling with a tablespoon of salt – cook for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, pick the basil leaves from the stalks and weigh before you wash them! Then wash in several changes of water and thoroughly spin-dry the basil.
  • Heat the frying pan on a medium heat and lightly dry-toast the pine nuts, shaking regularly so that they don’t stick.
  • Peel the garlic clove and place in the mortar and pestle with a good pinch of salt. Pound these to a paste.
  • Grate the parmesan cheese.
  • Add the pine nuts to the mortar & pestle and continue to pound. Once smooth-ish, transfer to the bowl and stir in the parmesan.
  • Tear the basil leaves and put them into the mortar with a sprinkle of flaked salt. Pound the leaves to a paste. Return the pine nut mixture to the mortar and, pounding it all together, gradually pour in all the olive oil.
  • Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary, then using the spatula, scrape out the pesto into a clean big mixing bowl.
  • When the pasta is cooked, scoop out into the pesto bowl with a small amount of cooking water to moisten. Divide among bowls and serve!

Notes: With what else can you use pesto? What also goes with well with basil? Why do we toast the pine nuts? Can you name any other pasta sauces?

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