Perfect Pesto

Since a couple people requested the pesto recipe I mentioned earlier this week, here it is. When I made it, I reduced all of the ingredients by half except for the tomatoes, and I substituted one can of anchovy-wrapped capers and the oil they were packed in for the capers, anchovies, and olive oil. Thanks to Elaine Sweet of Dallas, Texas, for the original recipe, found in Cook's Country Magazine.

1/3 cup slivered almonds
2 cups packed fresh basil
1/2 cup packed fresh parsley
1 pound plum tomatoes, cored and seeded
1/4 cup capers
3 anchovy fillets, rinsed and drained
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup grated Pecorino cheese
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

Chop almonds in food processor or blender. If following the original recipe, add the next eight ingredients and blend. Then, with the machine running, add the lemon juice. Finally, add the olive oil in a steady stream until emulsified. If following my changes, add all of the remaining ingredients to the almonds, including the oil in which the capers and anchovies were packed, and blend until smooth. Finish off both sets of directions by seasoning with salt and pepper. Toss with cooked pasta and a bit of reserved pasta cooking water, if desired. The original recipe makes enough to sauce two pounds of pasta. The "pesto alla sulu" makes one saucy pound. Buon appetito!

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