Category Archives: Italian

Walnut Pesto

I’m attempting to refrain from any assertions that my pesto is the best-o. For one thing, it’s not my recipe. For another, I haven’t been to Italy. Quite simply, I’m unqualified.

This pesto, however, has the mark of a good pesto, in my opinion: garlic. Keep vampires at bay. Entice humans with your culinary prowess. Everyone wins.

I like walnut pesto on homemade French bread (see above) or a simple angel hair pasta. I also slather it on pizza. (Okay, actually, I slather it on any savory carb I can find. It’s green–it’s healthy.)

This recipe is also from the Italian momma.

Walnut Pesto:
4 to 5 cups fresh basil leaves, washed and spun or patted dry (no stems)
8 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 and 1/2 to 2 cups walnuts
2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and ground pepper to taste

1) Combine garlic and walnuts in processor and chop (don’t pulverize it too much) then remove the mixture and put on plate.
2) Chop basil leaves in processor, and then add back the nut mixture. Mix a little.
3) Slowly add olive oil then shut off motor. Add all the cheese, a pinch of salt, and a liberal grinding of pepper.
4) Process briefly to combine. Refrigerate or freeze.

Homemade Pizza

My latest kitchen pride ‘n’ joy: my marble rolling pin. Isn’t it lovely?


My roommate and I find inspiration in the strangest of places. For example, we were sitting in class together yesterday watching Domino’s ads about the company’s new and improved recipe. Normally, this point in the class and in this blog post would be where I go on a long diatribe about cheap food and its ultimate cost to society, yada yada yada. Would probably complain a bit about food advertising and how I’m willing to bet that the new recipe only tastes a little less like what I imagine cardboard to taste like.

Instead, I came home and made pizza. From scratch. The way Domino’s wishes it could if its employees had the time to delight in the pleasures of watching dough slowly rise in its warm glass bowl and the smell of rubbing garlic and olive oil onto a freshly-rolled crust. (Please don’t look at the aforementioned crust too closely in the pictures–it’s embarrassingly misshapen.)

All I’m saying is, homemade pizza is so worth the extra effort. The dough is super-simple to make, and after the dough rises, pizza construction takes less than 30 minutes. That’s how long it takes Domino’s to deliver, apparently.

For the record, this recipe is adapted from my friend’s mom. She’s Italian. You can trust her.

Homemade Pizza:
1 cup hot water
1 packet yeast (2 and 1/4 tsp)
2 TB sugar
1 tsp salt
2 and 1/2 cups flour
olive oil
4 cloves garlic, smashed and diced
4 TB tomato sauce
1 pound mozzarella cheese, grated
3 TB Italian seasoning

1) Use hot water to warm bowl, pour it out, and then put one cup hot water in bowl. Dissolve yeast in water.
2) Add sugar, salt and two cups flour. Knead dough, adding last 1/2 cup flour a little at a time.
3) Grease bottom of bowl and top of dough with olive oil. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and let rise in draft-free place for approximately one hour. Grease bottom of large pizza pan or cookie sheet with olive oil.
4) When dough is doubled in size, punch down and roll out with rolling pin. Shape onto pizza pan, using palm of hand to roll out to edge.
5) Rub the minced garlic with olive oil on the dough, then spread on tomato sauce and spices.
6) Add meat and vegetable toppings to suit your taste; I just put on mushrooms and broccoli, then added some feta and parmesan ’cause I could. Then I topped with tons and tons of mozzarella cheese.
7) Cook at 400-425 degrees for approximately 20 minutes, checking to ensure bottom of pizza is golden brown. Recipe will make one large and one medium thin crust pizza.