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Chestnut pesto

3/4 c. raw chestnuts
2 to 3 cloves of garlic
1/2 c. olive oil
1 to 1.5 c. of tightly packed basil leaves
1/3 c. parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Shell out the raw chestnuts --- I've yet to find a really good way to do this, but cracking them with a nutcracker a couple of times usually lets me pry out the nut.  (It doesn't matter if some of the skin stays on the nut, so don't waste your time peeling it off.) 

Put chestnuts, garlic, and oil in a food processor and blend until nuts are broken up into tiny pieces.  Add basil and blend again.  Add parmesan and salt and pepper and blend one more time.

Chestnut pesto is a great pasta topping.  Or spread it on a chicken sandwich to use up some of your leftover roast chicken.  We freeze masses of pesto (often made with walnuts, in which case, cut back the oil) to have fast and easy meals all year.

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