Basil Pesto Recipe

For this basil pesto recipe, I'm afraid you'll have to use fresh basil - this is one occasion where dried won't do.

BUT - you don't have to grow it yourself - you can buy a growing plant from the garden centre or supermarket - it won't make any difference to your pesto recipe at all :-)

You could use basil you have frozen yourself as an alternative.

How to freeze basil



You will need:

  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup parmesan
  • 1/4 cup nuts - walnuts, pine or almonds
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Put the basil leaves and walnuts into a food processor.

A liquidizer would work and maybe a hand blender although you would need to put the oil in first and the other ingredients aftewards.

Break up the parmesan into chunks.

A recipe will often ask for it to be grated, but I don't see the point in doing that when you're going to pound it to a pulp - not a big fan of washing up you see :-)

Put the lid on and start the machine.

Drizzle in the olive oil whilst the blades are running.

You may have to stop and scrape the pesto off the sides once or twice.

When it's done, you will have the consistency of soft butter.

This pesto is great served over pasta, fettucine or spaghetti are my favorites.

You can use it straight away or warm it slightly.

It will store in the fridge for around a week.


Sweet basil is ordinary basil, so don't be confused by labels.

I use this sauce mixed into cooked pasta - the addition of a few prawns or shredded crab meat lifts it to dinner party standards.

If you want to add prawns (shrimp) or crab to this recipe, then do so after you've done the blending - if you're using frozen, then defrost first.

I'm using a cup as a measuring standard - that's largely so that you can get the recipe proportions right - if you only have a little basil, then you can measure everything in ratio.

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