The classic Basil Pesto Sauce combines fresh, young Genovese basil leaves with pine nuts, olive oil, Parmesan cheese and a touch of salt for an out of this world flavor! Pesto is an easy to make base for so many wonderful pasta meals, dips, dressings and much more! This traditional old world Italian sauce blends with cooked pasta for a quick 10 minute dinner any night of the week!
2cupsfresh basil leaves(approximately 2 oz, young basil leaves are best)
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Combine pine nuts and garlic in a food processor and process until very finely minced.
Leave your food processor on low speed and drizzle the olive oil into the minced ingredients. Combine until the mixture is smooth.
Add the grated Parmesan cheese and basil leaves then pulse the food processor in short bursts, just enough to thoroughly combine the sauce ingredients. Season with a pinch of salt, stir, and adjust to taste as needed.
Please see the post above for storage and freezing options. Nut alternatives and cheese alternatives are also discussed, as well as nut-free and dairy-free options.To serve your pesto on cooked pasta: transfer the cooked al denté pasta to a serving bowl using tongs or a pasta fork ( the saucepan or pot used to boil the pasta will be too hot for the fresh basil pesto ). Add your pesto sauce to the pasta, then add some of the pasta water in spoonfuls bit by bit. Stir between each addition to combine and emulsify the sauce. This recipe will use about ¼ cup of the pasta water to make your perfect pesto pasta!