Friday, July 2, 2010


This is my first year growing Basil in my backyard.  We had a lot of rain this year and I now have more Basil than I can use so I started searching for recipes with Basil.  This one seemed like one my family would enjoy and I was right!!!  This is an ideal recipe for garlic lovers.  I too like garlic a lot but garlic does not love me back because it upsets my stomach especially when it is used raw in recipes.  For those in the same situation, I would recommend adding garlic last and saving pesto without the garlic first for themselves.

Apparently this pesto is perfectly good for freezing.  I will be making lots of it and freeze for the winter.  I also learned lots of people grow Basil in the house through the winter or dry them.  I am thinking I may try those options too.

2 tablespoons of toasted pine nuts (walnuts or cashews would work too.  Make sure they are unsalted)
2 cloves of crushed garlic (optional)
2 cups of basil leaves
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup of olive oil
1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper

2.5 cups pasta of your choice
  • Toast pine nuts at low heat (250 degrees) until they are crispy.  Toasting is optional.  You can use them as they are or you can use unsalted walnuts or cashews.  If you are not fond of nuts, you can omit them altogether
  • Crush the garlic
  • Put basil leaves in the food processor and chop them coarsely
  • Add in garlic, cheese, olive oil, salt and pepper to get a creamy pesto.  Be sure to scrape the sides once for better consistency
  • Cook pasta according to package instructions
  • Mix pesto and and pasta together
  • You can serve this with fish or chicken.  Pesto is good for grilled vegetables as well
  • Pesto can be made ahead and will stay fresh in the fridge for 3-4 days.  You can freeze in a sealed jar for 6 months
You can use this recipe with a few modifications of course to make mint pesto for lamb recipes.  For Mint Pesto, omit Parmesan, replace basil with mint and optionally replace olive oil with canola oil.

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