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      RECIPE TITLE "PESTO SAUCES" excerpted from The Sauce Bible: Guide to the Saucier's Craft


    1 pound asparagus
    1 tablespoon lemon juice
    2 hard-boiled egg yolks
    pinch of salt
    4 tablespoons unsalted butter
    pinch of black pepper
    1/3 cup heavy cream

    • Remove the bottom half of the asparagus (reserve for another use). Blanch the top half of the asparagus in boiled salted water, uncovered, until very tender. Drain, and purée in a food processor, along with the egg yolks.

    • Place the asparagus purée, butter, and cream in a heavy-gauge saucepan and bring to simmer. Add the lemon juice, and season to taste.

    Asparagus sauce is typically served with steamed vegetables, boiled potatoes, and hard-boiled or poached eggs.


    1 cup olive oil (from the sun-dried tomatoes)
    1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
    1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    6 anchovy fillets
    1 cup Italian parsley, roughly chopped
    5 garlic cloves, crushed
    1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil

    • Place all ingredients, except for the parsley, in a food processor, and purée. Stir in the parsley, and remove to a chafing dish.

    • Fire up the chafing dish, and serve with stalks and hearts of celery, cardoons, blanched artichoke hearts, and other fresh seasonal vegetables.

    This specialty of the Piedmont region of Italy is traditionally served on Christmas Fve It often includes white truffles, which have been substituted with sun-dried tomatoes here, since fresh white truffles are a rare commodity, even in Italy.


    leaves of 1 bunch of fresh basil, well rinsed and dried
    1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    1/4 cup olive oil
    1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
    1/4 cup pine nuts or walnuts
    salt to taste
    3 large garlic cloves, crushed

    • Place all ingredients, except the cheese, into a food processor, and purée. Remove the paste. add the cheese, then cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

    Pignolias (pine nuts) are quite expensive, probably due to the fact that a pine tree started from seed will take 75 years to reach commercial levels of production. Walnuts are the most commonly used substitute in contemporary practice. One alternative is to sprinkle toasted pine nuts on top of a pasta tossed in the walnut-based pesto sauce.


    1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves, rinsed and dried
    pinch of salt
    1/3 cup olive oil
    4 garlic cloves
    1/4 cup goat cheese (chévre)
    3 tablespoons pine nuts
    pinch of black pepper

    • Pound the basil, garlic, pine nuts, salt, and a tablespoon of the oil in a mortar (or purée in a food processor). Add the remaining oil, blending thoroughly. Remove the paste to a bowl, and blend in the goat cheese and pepper by mashing with a fork. Season to taste, and toss with freshly cooked pasta.

    This recipe was borrowed with permission from Marcella's Italian Kitchen, by Marcella Hazan.


    30 littleneck clams, shucked and reserved with their juice
    3 tablespoons Italian parsley, minced
    2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, minced
    1/2 pound dried linguine
    1/3 cup olive oil
    2 tablespoons fresh chives, minced
    2 bay leaves
    6 large garlic cloves, minced
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    1 medium Spanish onion, finely diced
    1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
    1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
    black pepper as needed
    1/4 cup dry red wine

    • Bring one gallon of water, a pinch 0! salt, and a tablespoon of olive oil to a boil. Add the linguine, stirring continuously until the water returns to a boil.

    • In a large pan, sauté the bay leaves, garlic, onion, and red pepper in the olive oil over high heat for about 4 minutes, or until the garlic just begins to caramelize. Add the wine, clams and their juice, and the herbs, and simmer about 1 minute.

    • When the linguine is cooked al dente, drain and add to the sauce, along with the butter, cheese, and some black pepper. Bring to a boil and serve.

    This is a traditional recipe from Boston’s North End, as seen in Jasper White’s Cooking from New England.


    15 large sprigs Italian parsley
    1 1/2 cups heavy cream
    15 large fresh mint leaves
    1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
    5 large fresh basil leaves
    1 teaspoon kosher salt
    salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
    5 tablespoons unsalted butter, soft

    • Pound the herbs and salt in a mortar until they form a paste. Transfer this to a bowl, and add the butter, cream, cheese, salt, and pepper. Blend thoroughly. Serve with just cooked green tagliatelle or other choice of pasta.


    2 tablespoons peanut oil
    4 garlic cloves, minced
    1 teaspoon sesame oil
    2 teaspoons red chile paste
    3 tablespoons dry sherry
    2 tablespoons grated ginger root
    3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
    3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced
    1/4 cup soy sauce
    1 teaspoon hoisin sauce
    3 scallions, sliced paper thin
    1 cup chunky peanut butter

    • Blend all ingredients together thoroughly in a mortar or food processor. Cover and refrigerate, allowing it to marinate at least 24 hours. Serve with any grilled, roasted, or poached chicken dish.


    2 tablespoons peanut oil
    1 teaspoon red chile paste
    1/4 cup scallion, minced
    1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1 cup chunky peanut butter
    1 teaspoon grated ginger root
    1/2 cup plain yogurt
    1 tablespoon soy sauce
    1/4 cup cilantro, minced
    1/4 cup chicken stock

    • Sauté the scallion and garlic in the peanut oil about 3 minutes. Add the grated ginger and sauté another 2 minutes. Add the soy sauce, stock, chile paste, and cumin. Blend thoroughly. and simmer until almost dry.

    • Add the peanut butter, yogurt, and cilantro, and blend thoroughly. Serve with any poached or sautéed poultry dish.


    1 large bunch Italian (flat leaf) parsley (leaves only), stems removed
    1/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
    4 garlic cloves
    3/4 cup olive oil
    1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
    1/4 cup heavy cream
    salt and black pepper to taste

    • Purée the parsley, walnuts, and garlic in a mortar or food processor. Add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream (using the pulse switch, if food processor is used). Repeat this with the cream. Stir in the cheese, and season to taste.


    1 bunch fresh sage leaves, rinsed, and stems removed.
    3 garlic cloves, peeled
    1/3 cup toasted walnuts
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup olive oil
    1/8 teaspoon black pepper

    • Combine all ingredients in a food processor and purée.


    3 cups sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in boiling water
    3/4 cup olive oil
    1/2 cup Romano cheese, grated
    1 cup olive paste
    6 garlic cloves

    • Drain the tomatoes, discarding the water. Combine all in a food processor, and blend until puréed. Cover and refrigerate until needed.


    6 garlic cloves
    1/2 cup olive oil
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1 cup basil leaves, rinsed, stemmed, and dried
    1 1/2 pounds bavette or spaghetti
    1 cup slivered almonds
    4 large ripe tomatoes, peeled, roughly chopped

    • Pound the garlic, salt, and basil in a mortar until they form a paste. Add the almonds, and continue pounding.

    • Purée the tomatoes in a food processor. Add the paste from the mortar, and the pepper, and incorporate the oil, using the pulse switch on the processor. Toss with the freshly cooked pasta and serve.


    2/3 cup shelled walnuts
    2 hard-boiled egg yolks
    1 1/2 cups Italian parsley leaves
    2/3 cup olive oil
    1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    2 garlic cloves
    1/8 teaspoon black pepper

    • Place the walnuts, parsley, basil, garlic, salt, and pepper into a food processor and purée. Add the yolks, and purée again briefly.

    • Using the pulse switch, add the oil in a slow, steady stream until it is completely emulsified. Set aside until ready to use.

    Tuscan Green Sauce is served with "Beef Tongue," as seen in Jasper White’s Cooking from New England.


    2 slices white bread, crusts removed, and soaked in 1/2 cup cold water for 20 minutes
    1/4 cup olive oil
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    3/4 cup ricotta cheese
    2 garlic cloves, crushed
    4 tablespoons unsalted butter, soft
    1 dozen walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped

    • Squeeze the white bread dry. Place into a food processor with the garlic, walnuts, olive oil, salt, and pepper, and purée.

    • Remove to a bowl, and blend in the cheese and butter. Toss with freshly cooked pasta.


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