Traditionally, a classic basil pesto includes pine nuts and hard cheese like parmigiana-reggiano and pecorino Romano, Tuscano or Sardano.
You can use almonds or walnuts if you prefer.
The classic way to serve basil pesto is over pasta - fettucine or spaghetti are the main choices - I've used tagliettelle in the photo, but the point is, to have long strands which can be coated all over in this classic sauce.
Imperial and metric
To make the pesto:
Add the garlic, basil, parmesan, nuts and half the olive oil to the bowl of your food processor.
Process until the herbs and garlic are chopped up a bit.
With your machine running, add the rest of the olive oil in a smooth gradual stream.
This is easily done through the small circular port in the lid of your food processor's bowl.
Process until a smooth paste forms.
This will make a little over one cup of pesto.
If the pesto is a bit thick add a little extra olive oil one teaspoon at a time and process the paste until you are happy with the consistency.
You can mix this straight into just drained pasta - the pesto will melt and cling to every strand if you mix it in thoroughly.
I find it to be quite economical. If I have a tomato based sauce on my pasta, I tend to go very heavy with the cheese but I don't have extra with basil pesto as if you coat the pasta evenly, you get the taste with every mouthful!
What would you like to see next?The Herb Guide › Herb Recipes › Classic Basil Pesto
By Liz Alderson
Superb basil pesto recipe that is very easy to make. Gorgeous with some hot pasta.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 0 minutes
Main Ingredient: basil