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.
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves (no stems!)
- 1/3-cup pine nuts (lightly toasted)
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- You may want to scrape down the mixture a few times as you are processing the pesto.
- Place basil leaves and pine nuts into a the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times.
- Add the Parmesan cheese and pulse the mixture several times.
- Slowly add the olive oil while the food processor is running.
- Stir in the salt and pepper. Taste (!)Adjust seasoning.