You might ask yourself: ‘Why would I make my own pesto when I could easily find it ready-made in a jar?’ You are correct, ready made pesto is so convenient and versatile, in fact I always have some in my cupboard at home, but I can also assure you that home made pesto is at least a thousand times better!
So, if you have at least 10 extra minutes to spare, this homemade basil pesto is super easy and quick to whip up. The secret is good quality simple ingredients.
The following recipe is just an idea of what to include, and amounts can be adjusted according to your individual taste. Maybe you prefer it to be more nutty… feel free to add more pine nuts. Do not be afraid to experiment… try walnuts or even almonds instead! 🙂
Most aged hard cheeses can be used in this recipe. On most occasions, I use Grana Padano cheese or Parmeggiano Reggiano, but I have also made it with aged goats’ cheese. Opt for a vegan hard cheese if you follow a vegan diet. It is up to you to choose your preferred cheese.
You can also swap some of the basil leaves for baby spinach leaves. It will still have the basil taste and the colour will turn out to be even brighter.
I love this kind of fresh pesto with a plate of pasta or with my homemade potato gnocchi, where the pesto sauce will be the star of the dish. Once prepared, it can be consumed immediately or stored in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container. Flavours are always best the day after making the pest, as this gives the pesto some time for the ingredients to mingle.
I hope you will give this a try and enjoy it as much as we do! 😀
Homemade Basil Pesto
A classic pesto sauce made with fresh basil, pine nuts and cheese.
- 2 big handfuls of fresh basil leaves
- 50g pine nuts, toasted
- 50g aged hard cheese, grated*
- 5-6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1-2 garlic clove, minced
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- In a food processor, combine the basil, roasted pine nuts, cheese, garlic, salt and pepper. Pulse several times. Scrape down the sides.
- While the food processor is running, slowly add the olive oil. If it is too thick, add another tablespoon of olive at a time to reach your desired consistency. Check the seasoning and adjust accordingly.
- Toss with pasta, add to your salad dressing or spread on toasted bread.
* A vegan hard cheese can be used instead.