Saturday, August 21, 2010


If you have a garden full of basil and if you have a food processor, then this is the sauce for you! Very versatile, pesto can be used on pasta, pizza, chicken, garlic toast, etc. At my house, we only use it on pasta with lots of great Parmesan cheese. This recipe comes from a cookbook called "Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking" by Marcella Hazan. I am going to admit that I no longer have that cookbook (but wish I did!) I only have two pages that I tore out of the huge book before I gave it away...... sad, I know. I kept the recipe for homemade pasta and I kept the recipe for this pesto. I guess if there were two recipes to keep from classic Italian cooking, these would be the ones.....

Here's what you need:
2 C tightly packed fresh basil - wash and dry it carefully. I use my salad spinner.
1/2 C good olive oil
3 T pine nuts
2 cloves garlic
1/2 t salt

Here's what you do:
While the blade of your food processor is running, drop the garlic in and it will chop into very fine pieces. This is a really great method! In the picture above, you can see the garlic in the bowl of my processor under all the basil and it's the perfect size. I did not have to chop any of it...
Add the basil, pine nuts, salt and olive oil.
Run the machine and scrape down after a bit.
That's it!
If you are going to serve it right away, add 1/2 C good Parmesan cheese and 3T softened butter. If you sometimes add the hot salty water that your pasta has boiled in, please do not do it for pesto because your beautiful green sauce will turn an unpleasant brown.....

Do plan to eat it right away or freeze it so it stays this vibrant color - beautiful, really.
You can easily freeze pesto without the butter and cheese.
My freezer now has these five lovely bundles of pesto, ready for a quick winter pasta dinner. Very satisfying!


  1. I've never made pesto at home, but I do love it...this looks like it make a ton, and I like that it freezes for later use!!

  2. Tracy,
    I do like pesto but haven't made it. I wonder if the little plants I have in the garden will get large enough to allow for a good batch of pesto. Your bags of it will be a fabulous winter treat.


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