This versatile, no-cook sauce can be enjoyed with many of your favorite pasta, fish, chicken, soup, or vegetable recipes. While the modern technique, as outlined in the recipe below, calls for making pesto in a food processor to combine the ingredients it produces a very homogenized final result.
In Italy, the more authentic approach would be using a mortar and pestle. The mortar and pestle approach, however, does result in more distinct flavors but can be time consuming. I have to say it really does make a huge difference and if I can find the time I would rather take the time to develop the flavors using a mortar and pestle for an absolutely incredible pesto.
Yields 1 1/4 cups
- 2 c. fresh basil, loosely packed
- ¼ c. toasted pine nuts
- 2–3 garlic cloves, peeled (amount based on personal taste and strength of garlic variety used).
- 1/3 c. plus 2 T. really good extra virgin olive oil
- 2/3 c. Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Remove basil leaves from stems, then wash and pat dry. Add basil, pine nuts, and peeled garlic gloves to food processor or blender. Quickly pulse until barely combined, then add 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil and blend thoroughly.
- Transfer to a medium glass bowl. Stir in Parmesan cheese and remaining olive oil to achieve the desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Use immediately. Freeze leftovers in ice cube trays covered with a layer of olive oil. Once frozen, remove “pesto cubes” from trays and store in freezer-safe plastic bags for future use in soups or stews.
Have you tried to make basil pesto with a mortar and pestle before?
See you in the comments,