Recipe video above. This is how I make basil pesto. Make it smooth for the best flavour when tossed through pasta, or chunkier if you want to use it as a dip. See in post for a list of chunky vs smooth and a list of uses! Also see how to use pesto to make a JUICY Pesto Pasta (hint: it's not just pasta and pesto).
Prep Time10 mins
Total Time10 mins
Servings: 1 cup
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 2 cups (60g/2oz) fresh basil leaves, packed (Note 1)
- 1/2 cup (40g) parmesan, store bought shredded OR 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 garlic clove
- 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil , best quality
Preheat small skillet over medium high heat (no oil). Add pine nuts and toast until light brown. Immediately remove and let cool slightly.
Place all ingredients except olive oil in a food processor or blender.
Blitz until finely chopped.
With the motor running, slowly pour the oil in. Blitz until smooth (or to desired consistency), adding a touch of extra oil (or water) if required to help it blitz.
Handheld blender: Place all ingredients (including oil) in a bowl. Blitz with hand held blender until smooth.
Storage and Use:
Store in a super airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days, or freezer for 3 months. If it's not a super airtight container, smooth the surface and cover with a thin layer of olive oil - basil goes brown when in contact with air.
Makes enough for: 300g/10oz dried pasta of choice (can stretch to 350g/12oz). See here for how to make a great simple pesto pasta!
1. Basil - important to use FRESH basil leaves here, not basil that's been in your fridge for a week (goes brown when blitzed!)
2. Variations - Use the same ratios above and switch the basil/pinenuts for any of the following:
- Rocket/arugula, baby spinach, spinach, silverbeet, kale, parsley
- Walnuts, cashews (best sub for pine nuts), almonds, hazelnuts. Haven't tried with seeds like sunflower seeds but I see no reason why they wouldn't work (but I wouldn't use with kale)
- Makes just short of 1 cup of pesto. Use for 300g/10oz pasta of choice to coat generously (3 large servings, 4 smallish servings), or up to 350g/12oz (4 standard servings).