Perfect Pesto

PestoThis is one of the most elegant and useful tools of the Italian kitchen.

Yet, I know Italians who are one generation from the old country that have never heard of the stuff. Apparently it’s a northern innovation from the area of Genoa, and southern Italians are unfamiliar with it.

It’s wonderfully easy to make, with a food processor. And it makes growing basil a pure delight, for this stuff freezes perfectly. Some put it in ice-cube trays, others, like myself, just scoop a tablespoon onto a piece of Saran wrap, and place a bunch of these in a plastic bag and toss in the freezer for when I want to some.

So make this a definite part of your repertoire and a great dinner is just the boiling of some pasta away. You will find lots of uses for it. I promise.


  • 1 bunch of basil (about 2 cups of leaves)
  • 2 lg cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 1/4 cup of pine nuts. You can substitute lots of seeds like sunflower and pumpkin which are cheaper if you wish.
  • olive oil ( 1/4 c or more, until you get the right consistency–not a full puree, but nicely minced, fairly tight.


  1. Place the basil leaves in a food processor.
  2. Add the garlic and pine nuts.
  3. Turn on the machine and whirr while drizzling the olive oil down the feed tube until as I said, it’s wet but not runny.

Serves: makes about 1 cup

NOTES: This is great as a spread on an antipasta sandwich for instance. Or just take a couple of tablespoons and mix with freshly cooked hot pasta. Great as a substitute for sauce on pizza for a change of pace.


3 thoughts on “Perfect Pesto

  1. Pingback: Pizza Calzones Pies | What's On the Stove?

  2. Pingback: Pesto-Bacon Chicken Wrap | What's On the Stove?

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