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