Pesto is an uncooked sauce made with fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil and it is available ready-made at grocery stores, but, it is more fun to make your own!

It originates from the Ligurian region of Italy and traditionally the ingredients were ground into a paste with a mortar and pestle.  But now, most commonly it is finely chopped with a food processor. This classic, fresh tasting sauce originated in Genoa, and although used on a variety of dishes, it is a favorite with pasta. Now there are “pestos” made from other greens such as arugula and spinach and other nuts other than pine nuts are used, such as walnuts.



  1. 2 cups fresh basil leaves (no stems!)
  2. 1/3-cup pine nuts (lightly toasted)
  3. ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  4. 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  5. ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  6. ¼ teaspoon salt
  7. 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. You may want to scrape down the mixture a few times as you are processing the pesto.
  2. Place basil leaves and pine nuts into a the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times.
  3. Add the Parmesan cheese and pulse the mixture several times.
  4. Slowly add the olive oil while the food processor is running.
  5. Stir in the salt and pepper.  Taste (!)Adjust seasoning.

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