Classic Basil Pesto

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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.

Basil Pesto

  • 3 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1  cups fresh basil, rinsed, dry, loosely packed
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts or walnuts chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste

Imperial and metric

  • 3 cloves fresh garlic
  • good handful fresh basil
  • 2 oz/50g parmesan
  • 1 oz/25 g pine nuts, walnuts
  • 5fl oz/150 ml extra-virgin olive oil

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!

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› Classic Basil Pesto

Classic Basil Pesto


Classic Basil Pesto

Superb basil pesto recipe that is very easy to make. Gorgeous with some hot pasta.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Yield: 4

Main Ingredient: basil

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