Pesto is a versatile and flavorful sauce that originates from Italy. Traditionally made with fresh basil, pine nuts, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil, pesto adds a burst of freshness to pasta, sandwiches, salads, and more. Making your own pesto at home is a rewarding and simple process.
My easy recipe allows you to savor the vibrant flavors of fresh basil, nutty pine nuts, and savory Parmesan in every bite. You can also swap in different nuts or use flavoured oils. I have tried pistachios in this recipe and it works really well too. This recipe makes enough for pasta for four people or for using on salads or on roasted veggies. I also like it mixed into cream cheese for a delicious dip or that you can spread on crusty bread. It keeps for about two weeks in the fridge (although it never lasts that long in my house)
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves, washed and dried
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Prepare the Ingredients: Gather all the ingredients before starting. Ensure the basil leaves are clean and dry, and have the garlic cloves peeled.
- Toast the Pine Nuts: In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the pine nuts until they become golden brown. Stir frequently to prevent burning. This step enhances the nutty flavor of the pine nuts. Once toasted, set them aside to cool.
- Blend the Basil and Garlic: In a food processor, combine the fresh basil leaves and peeled garlic cloves. Pulse until they are finely chopped. This creates the base of the pesto and releases the aromatic flavors.
- Add Pine Nuts and Parmesan: Add the toasted pine nuts and grated Parmesan cheese to the food processor. Pulse again until the mixture is well combined. The pine nuts contribute a rich texture, while the Parmesan adds a savory and salty element.
- Season with Salt and Pepper: Sprinkle salt and pepper into the mixture. Adjust the amounts according to your taste preferences. Pulse the ingredients to incorporate the seasonings evenly.
- Drizzle in Olive Oil: With the food processor running, slowly drizzle in the extra-virgin olive oil. Continue processing until the pesto reaches a smooth and creamy consistency. The olive oil binds the ingredients together and adds a luscious texture.
- Taste and Adjust: Pause to taste the pesto and adjust the salt and pepper as needed. You can also add more olive oil if you prefer a thinner consistency.
I even use it to top pizza. Why not give it a try?
We also have a vegan pesto recipe, that is creamy and delicious and works well on pasta, that my family love. You can find that here too.