Fresh Homemade Basil Pesto –Homemade pesto is one of the best ways to enjoy fresh basil. Our Pesto recipe uses fresh basil, pine nuts, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and extra virgin olive oil. Make it in about 10 minutes!
What Is Pesto?
Historians believe pesto was a product of Genoa, Italy. The word pesto is a derivative of the Italian verb “pestare,” which means “to pound or crush.” For hundreds of years, pesto was made by pounding the ingredients in a mortar and pestle. It dates back to Roman times when Italians would crush nuts with herbs and garlic. The mortar and pestle are still in use in Italy to this day.
Some pesto recipes call for Romano cheese. Don’t be fooled. Other pesto recipes often call for walnuts. Again, stick with the authentic, Italian recipe and use Parmesan Cheese and Pine Nuts (pignolas).
Dried basil is ok for flavoring sauces, soups, and other dishes. But its flavor is very different from fresh basil. You need fresh basil leaves to make Fresh Homemade Basil Pesto.
Fresh Homemade Basil Pesto Recipe (Ricetta Pesto di Basilico)
Basil pesto darkens when exposed to air. When you store it, cover it tightly with plastic wrap, making sure the plastic is touching the top of the pesto and not allowing the pesto to have contact with air. The pesto will stay greener longer that way.
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- Cuisinart or blender
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves
- 2 tbsp pine nuts
- 2 large cloves garlic chopped
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Combine basil leaves, pine nuts and garlic in a food processor and process until very finely minced.
- With the machine running slowly dribble in the oil and process until the mixture is smooth.
- Add the cheese and process very briefly, just long enough to combine.
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8 thoughts on “Fresh Homemade Basil Pesto”
Easy and delicious!
Wow Charlie, your basil plants are fabulous. Pesto is one of the best things ever and can be used in so many ways. I know this is a good recipe to have in your pocket.
I have a blogger friend – Stefan gourmet – who actually experimented with a mortar and pestle vs. a blender/food processor, and he said the mortar and pestle pesto was so much better! The problem for me is that I make jars and jars at a time, without the cheese, and freeze the pesto, so there’s no way I could do it without a blender!
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Well, Chef, I would say that using a moral and pestle might provide slightly better overall flavor, but we are Cooking Secrets for Men. So we look for shortcuts and the easiest way to prepare tasty meals. At a nice Italian restaurant, I would probably find the manual method providing a better taste. Very possibly. But at home, I don’t need the best. I just want it to taste good. And not take a lot of time, effort, and energy. I use Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice and Bob Evans mashed potatoes in some of my meals. I’m a simple guy. Give me the Cuisinart any day to chop stuff up. But I do truly thank you for taking the time to comment. It is a very small percentage of people who take the time to comment and it is appreciated.
Lovely! I love making basil pesto. It tastes so fresh and is easily paired with so many things!