5-minute homemade basil pesto

Pasta with homemade pesto and a little fresh parmesan
Pasta with homemade pesto.

 

I’ve only had to learn to make fresh pesto since my husband and I left Italy. Over there, you can buy tubs of it in the supermarket for just a couple of euros. Now, the closest I can come is the stuff in jars, which doesn’t taste at all the same.

So naturally I’ve been on the hunt for a great pesto recipe. This is one of the best I’ve found, although I’m keen to try out a few variations, like using roasted garlic and toasted pine nuts to see if that makes a difference (I’ll keep you posted). Meanwhile, I make presto pretty regularly, and it’s one of the few green things I can make for the whole family.

I love to eat this stirred through pasta, especially with some green beans and cooked potato mixed in, the way they serve it in Liguria, where I first had it.

Difficulty: Very easy – just you and your food processor.
Kid-friendly?: Definitely. Some kids may not like the garlic taste though.
Roadtest verdict: Fresh, healthy and easy dinner option.

Basil, pine nuts and garlic in the blender
Blending the basil, garlic and pine nuts.
fresh basil and pine nut pesto
Fresh basil pesto, ready to add to pasta.

5-minute homemade basil pesto
Inspiration: The beautiful blog at simplyrecipes.com
Serves: 4-6 people

Ingredients

2 cups fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup pine nuts
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino or Parmeggiano cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Equipment: A food processor (or go old school with a pestle and mortar. The word pesto comes from pestare, the Italian for “to crush”.)

Instructions

  1. Place basil, pine nuts and garlic in your food processor and blend on high.
    Scrape down the sides with a spatula, and pulse a couple of times.
  2. With the processor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Stop and scrape the sides with the spatula, and blend on high for 1 min.
  3. Add the cheese, and blend, and add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
    It’s done! See – I told you it was easy.

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