Pesto Genovese (Classic Basil Pesto)

After being home for a week, I finally started cooking again. I made pesto one night, but I didn’t write about it because I figured it was too simple…. I have now been told otherwise, so I’ll post the recipe and my tips here. This is a great quick meal to throw together when you don’t have a lot of time to cook, and also good on a hot day because of the minimal stove use involved.

Basil Pesto

Prep time: 10 minutes. Serves about 4

  • 1 large bunch basil, leaves only
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted **I have also used marcona almonds in the past, but then it’s not the classic Genovese anymore.
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated parmigiano reggiano

Put basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor. Blend till combined, then add olive oil through feed tube until desired consistency is reached. Stop once and scrape down sides if needed. Put in a bowl and stir in cheese. Serve over pasta of choice (I like pesto with thin spaghetti, or trenette – a narrow flat pasta – when I can find it).

If you have leftovers, put them in an ice cube tray and freeze. Pop the frozen cubes out and put in a plastic freezer bag. They will last in the freezer for about 6 months. To thaw, just put in a small bowl for about 10-15 minutes, or if needed faster, microwave for 5 seconds. Because of the olive oil, these will defrost very quickly. I always have these pesto cubes on hand in my freezer to use for a quick dinner, or as a spread on sandwiches, or for my “pesto and olive torta” appetizer (see my next blog!).

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