With all due respect to chef Paolo Laboa, who once held the title of world pesto champion in Genoa, Italy, I must take issue with the pesto recipe he provided to the Aug. 8 Portland Press Herald. He uses a half-clove of garlic in a recipe calling for 6 cups of basil. Why bother? Who could taste such a tiny amount?

I’ve been making pesto for over 40 years and still remember the first time I tasted it, in a three-decker in Cambridge, Massachusetts. A friend who had lived in Italy invited me for dinner.

There was the gleaming green mound on a pile of pasta. Heaven! I couldn’t eat or make enough. My freezer was stocked with single servings in baby food jars.

I continue to enjoy it year round, and I make and freeze large quantities when the basil is growing in our garden. It’s fresh and tastes of summer, even during those endless, bleak February days. Buon appetito!

Barbara Doughty


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