Easy pesto recipe

Easy pesto recipe

There’s nothing wrong with having a jar of shop-bought pesto in the cupboard but nothing beats homemade. Purists will say you have to make it in a pestle and mortar because using a food processor will overheat the basil and spoil it. But we’ve found if you just use the pulse button, rather than leaving the motor running, it will be perfect. You can make a big batch and freeze it in ice cube trays – just add the parmesan once it has thawed.

Cook’s tips

  • Try swapping the pine nuts for blanched almonds.
  • You could add two anchovies to add a more savoury flavour.
  • Traditionally in Genoa, home of pesto, they use a third of aged Pecorino Romano cheese to two-thirds parmesan, which makes it 'cheesier'.
  • Try to use a fruity, rather than peppery, olive oil which can overpower the basil.
  • This quantity is sufficient to serve four with pasta or gnocchi.

Ingredients

  • 100 g fresh basil leaves
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 175 ml olive oil
  • 50 g grated parmesan
  • 3.5 oz fresh basil leaves
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 6.2 fl oz olive oil
  • 1.8 oz grated parmesan
  • 3.5 oz fresh basil leaves
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 0.7 cup olive oil
  • 1.8 oz grated parmesan

Details

  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Recipe Type: Sauce
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Preparation Time: 15 mins
  • Cooking Time: 0 mins
  • Serves: 4

Step-by-step

  1. Put the basil, garlic, pine nuts and oil with a good pinch of salt into a food processor or blender.
  2. Pulse to combine, until you have a smooth purée. Then transfer to a bowl and stir in the parmesan.

This recipe is by Jane Curran. Photography: MaraZe/Shutterstock

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