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Authentic pesto is made with young, small basil leaves, so if you grow your own, take notice. The best way to bring out the real flavor is to "hand chop" everything which may take up to 20 minutes, but you will see a major shift in taste. The trick is to chop a bit, add some ingredients then chop some more. However, be sure to use a good sharp knife or the basil will darken. FYI: Food processors tend to turn olive oil bitter, therefore, I blend it in afterward by hand.
- Boil a pot of water for penne. Add salt, then pasta. In the meanwhile,.
- Chop basil leaves, garlic, and pine nuts by hand or if using a food processor pulse just a few times, don't overdo to it; ingredients should be slightly coarse.
- Transfer to a bowl and add the cheese, blending with a wooden spoon.
- Blend in the olive oil and melted butter. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Add a little of the pasta water if necessary, to make it easy to blend.
- Cook pasta according to directions, then drain briefly, reserving 1/4 cup pasta water. Transfer to a large bowl large enough to hold.
- Immediately add the pesto and toss until pasta is well coated.
- If too dry, add a little more pasta water and toss again.
- Serve immediately with extra grated cheese.