Manchego is a cheese made in the La Mancha region of Spain from the milk of sheep of the Manchega breed. The Raw milk version is the better tasting but harder to find than pasteurized. Manchego cheese has more protein than meat making it a great choice for pesto when making pasta. This is a full flavored cheese not unlike the Italian Asiago but not as strong. Mexican Manchego cheese was introduced to Mexico from Spain but it tastes quite different, being made with a mixture of cows and goats’ milk rather than sheep’s milk.
1 Cups fresh basil leaves
1/2 Cup freshly Manchego cheese
1/3 Cup great tasting first cold pressing olive oil
1/3 Cup pine nuts
3 Garlic cloves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
With a food processor, chop cheese, the add garlic and basil. Add pine nuts last and just chop to blend. With the processor running, add olive oil until the mixture forms a paste. Do not over blend the mixture. Salt and pepper to taste.
Cook the pasta and drain while al dente. Add pesto and toss with spoons for several minutes. Serve with an Italian salad.