Difficulty: Easy - for beginners
Dietary guidance: v
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup pine nuts
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
3/4 cup hand-grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
Step 1Pulse pine nuts in a food processor until they're completely broken down. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula from time to time. Add olive oil and garlic and pulse until garlic is finely chopped.
Step 2Chop basil very roughly â€” just run a knife through it once or twice to cut most of the leaves into halves or thirds â€” then add to food processor. Pulse, stopping every 15 seconds to push the leaves down with a rubber spatula, until basil is entirely worked into the oil. Pulse for another few seconds, and then stop to prevent turning the basil brown.
Step 3Pour pesto base into a bowl and add grated cheese and salt. Stir to combine, then taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Leave the sauce thick to toss with cooked pasta and a little pasta cooking water. To use the pesto as a garnish for grilled or roasted meats, fish and vegetables, thin it out with 2 to 3 more tablespoons olive oil until itâ€™s the consistency of a loose paste. To store leftovers, pour a little more olive oil over the pesto to cover. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to three days.