More pesto tips and a recipe
Since writing the last post I´ve remembered another good tip
6-when the jar of pesto is on its last legs, use it to make salad dressing, so you don´t lose even a speck of precious sauce. Just put oil and vinegar and shake it well.
Browsing Apartment Therapy I´ve discovered this website, Specialty Bottle, which is the place to hunt for jars. They have every size imaginable. I want them all.
Freezing: yes, I freeze pesto, too. It´s perfect for bringing a little warmth to your winter. My method is to spoon just a little into my smallest plastic containers, and put them in the freezer overnight. Next day, when they´re hard, I snap them out and put all the different sized discs inside a ziploc bag. That way, they take up no room at all, and you have different serving portions at the ready. You can do this with ice cube trays, but it´s hard to prevent the whole freezer from smelling pesto-y for a long time. Not very good news for those gin and tonics.
And now for my all-time favourite cold pasta dish. I discovered this in the chiller cabinet of the long gone and much lamented Marks & Spencer on C/Serrano. You can see how old that drawing is, in that the label shows the salad to have cost 395 pesetas. Ah, what times...
It´s a very simple salad that consists mainly of pasta, penne rigate for choice, but orecchiette also ok, dressed with pesto and olive oil until slick. It is then combined with raw spinach, not much, it´s just for looks, really, and toasted pinenuts.
The trick is to toss it very well, so that lots of pine kernels end up inside the penne rigate. A few slivers of parmesan and you´re in business for a real crowd pleaser. I always make it for buffets, as it cosies up very well to all sorts of things, from other salads to cold meats or salmon.
You can also ring the changes by adding black olives, sauteed mushrooms, cherry tomatoes or mozzarella.