Fresh Basil Pesto
When my brother and I were little (I'd say grade 3 for me, kindergarten for my bro) we were babysat by a woman named Carmella. Her husband Damiano and their 3 kids were 100% Sicilian. I was best friends with their youngest, Rosie. My brother and I would get dropped off at their house everyday before school and we would walk there for lunch and after school. It was there that I believe my love of authentic Italian food began. My first experience with Nutella was in that little kitchen. Real espresso on the stove. Carmella and Damiano speaking in italian as she packed his lunch for work. A welcoming place from the Ontario winter cold. My mother walking ahead of my brother and I as we muscled our way through the snow in our snow suits. I think my mother would rush home after a long day at the office to pick us up to find that we were happy and fed. What a blessing that family was to my parents. These are the people in our lives that get us through. What I wouldn't give for a family like this as a single mom now.
I remember Damiano and my father hugging and cheering with joy when Italy won the World Cup in soccer. Carmella teaching my mother the proper way to make sauce. Where to buy the good olive oil... So many great food memories in that little home in Scarbourough, Ontario.
Years later, my mother tried her hand at her version of fresh pesto and many other dishes that Carmella taught her. I loved it immediately. The same thing happened for Basquiat. He is my pesto lover and tends to request it more than marinara. I always buy a bunch of fresh basil and I make a ton of this pesto and freeze it. You can add pesto to pasta, pizzas, sandwiches, grilled veggies. The choices are endless so feel free to double up or triple up on this recipe. Grazie Carmella! xo