Basil pesto sauce is so easy to make, it’s almost silly to buy it–and not to mention the homemade version tastes fresher, lighter and better than anything you can buy in the store. Take 5 minutes and whip up a big batch.
I had my first bowl of pesto-covered pasta goodness when I was 10. I wasn’t sure about eating green spaghetti, but I learned pretty quick how good it really was. Today, pesto is everywhere. People make it with peas, arugula, and I’ve even seen broccoli rabe. I don’t know about that, but I love the traditional basil sauce. Spread it on a sandwich with melted mozzarella, toss it in pasta or add it to any dish that needs a little spark.
For the best flavor, use good ingredients. Buy a wedge of Parmesan cheese, good extra virgin olive oil. You can add a clove of garlic if you want to, but I think it overpowers the flavor of the dish, so I leave it out.
Basil pesto sauce can take a lot of forms and have a lot of different ingredients but the most familiar make the most flavorful in my opinion.
- 1 cup packed Italian parsley
- 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup walnuts chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- Wash and dry the basil and parsley leaves well. Then in a food processor pulse all the ingredients except the olive oil, just to get things started. Then with the processor running, stream in the olive oil until everything is smooth.
- Freeze any leftovers in an ice cube tray. I love to make a big batch in the late summer and enjoy that fresh flavor all through the winter.