Classic pesto recipe

Let’s admit it, who hasn’t bought pesto in the shops? I did so many times… I understand many people think it is a complicated sauce to make, but actually it is super easy and a lot nicer when made with fresh ingredients. Recently, I had the opportunity to grow my own basil in the garden and therefore I took advantage to finally try to make fresh pesto. The result was so light and tasty I don’t think those pots at the supermarket or at the local deli will ever tempt me again.
When tackling Italian recipes, if I don’t have one stolen from mamma’s notebook, Giallo Zafferano is my absolute bible, they always get the right measurements and they don’t keep extra tips to themselves: so I followed their recipe, but instead of doing the pesto the old fashion way (with pestle and mortar), which would have taken me 20 minutes, I have used a hand blender, spending about ten minutes (if not less) to get my very own pot of pesto!
50 gr basil leaves (note that to get the real thing as a result, you should try and find basil with longer rather than large leaves, the real Genoese basil)
1 garlic clove (but if you are feeling brave, or your partner is, you can put more)
6 tbsp of Parmigiano Reggiano
2 tbsp of Pecorino cheese
1 pinch of salt
100 ml of extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp of pine nuts

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First time making: homemade strawberry and vanilla jam

As it’s summer, and strawberry season, I thought I’d try out Jamie Oliver’s supposedly super easy way to make homemade strawberry jam. While I love strawberry jam, most store-bought versions taste a tad too sweet/artificial for me. The jam with the lowest sugar-to-jam ratio I’ve found is the Streamline Reduced Sugar Strawberry Jam, which is nice as well, but guess there’s nothing like making your own!

It’s my first time trying out this recipe, so I’ve scaled it down slightly (only very, as the strawberries were on offer). Also, I didn’t find any whole vanilla pods in the shops, so used ground vanilla beans instead.

This filled 2 x 500ml jam jars – not quite as expected from what the original recipe mentioned.

Strawberry_Jam_1I used…

800g strawberries
400g jam sugar
4g ground vanilla beans

You’ll also need: a potato masher and 2 jam jars (500ml).

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