I love having plenty of basil on hand to use in a variety of recipes – especially pesto! Pesto is an Italian classic. It’s a simple paste made from basil leaves and other tasty ingredients. I like things that are full of flavor, simple and easy to make, and this is certainly one of them.
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, washed and tightly packed
- 2 cloves of garlic (crushed)
- 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts or walnuts (you can toast nuts in a pan in the oven. Simply bake them for 10 minutes at 400 degrees. Watch them carefully, you can burn them before you know it!)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
- In a blender combine basil, garlic, pine nuts, pepper and olive oil.
- Blend at a high speed until smooth, then put the paste in a bowl and add Parmesan cheese.
- Give the mixture a good stir to incorporate the cheese and it's ready to fold into your favorite pasta. I use about 1/2 cup of pesto per pound of cooked pasta. What you don't use, you can freeze. What a great use for all that extra basil!