Making your own pesto is a snap and highly encouraged if you are growing your own basil this summer. You pretty much throw a few ingredients in a food processor, hit the button and there you have it; the best pesto you have ever tasted. I know the traditional method is to use a pestle and mortar but personally, I do not have the time or patience for that. The recipe I have for you here will have wonderful fresh pesto ready in about 10 minutes.
I have listed out the traditional ingredients used to make the classic Genovese Pesto. When you make it for the first time, use the quantities I give you and then taste the pesto. What do you think? Is the consistency too thick or too thin? Is the flavor spot on or does it need a little more garlic or Parmesan?
I think everyone’s pesto comes out a little different due to the variations within the ingredients. No need to worry though. Just make some adjustments to suit your own tastes and you will be fine. You will get a feel of what the flavor and texture should be and simply add more or less of one thing or another. If you make it enough times, you may find yourself not even measuring the ingredients out at all. Just a bunch of basil leaves, a little garlic, a handful of pine nuts and then drizzle in the olive oil until the you get it right. El perfecto!
Basil PestoPrint Recipe
Makes about 1 cup. Enough for 1 pound of pasta.
- 2 cups of fresh basil leaves - packed
- 2 peeled garlic gloves
- 1/4 cup - pine nuts
- 1/2 teaspoon - kosher salt
- 1/2 cup - extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup - grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese
In the bowl of a food processor, add the basil, the garlic, the pine nuts and the kosher salt. Using the on off switch, process the ingredients until minced.
With the processor running, slowly add the olive oil through the feed tube, in a thin stream until it is will blended. The pesto may seem a little thin but the cheese will thicken it up.
Transfer the pesto to a small container and then stir in the Parmesan. The pesto is now ready for use. If you are saving it for later, drizzle a small layer of olive oil on top, cover and refrigerate.
- Pine nuts are expensive! Keep in mind that you should be able to get at least 4 batches of pesto with a 1 cup package. Just keep them handy in the refrigerator. You can use other nuts. Some people use walnuts or almonds. It will give the pesto a slightly different flavor but experiment with it. You may like it better!
- Also, you can toast the nuts first before making the pesto. Adds a nice flavor.
- Measuring out basil leaves seems tricky. Try not to worry about it. Fill your measuring cup as best you can, pressing down slightly to get some more in there. Sometimes you will have more and sometimes you will have less. Just adjust the amount of olive oil you add in, to get the consistency you want.