I have never made homemade pesto before, and strangely enough, I had a craving for it the other day – so I figured – how hard could it be? Boy, was I surprised how easy it was. It is shockingly surprising how easy was! Or is it surprisingly shocking, I was never good with adverbs. A lot of sauces and dressings are easy, yet we tend to think it is easier to buy them at the store.
This recipe made so much pesto (“How much pesto did it make Shell?”), it made so much pesto that I used it on fusilli the first night and on some potato gnocchi a few nights later - and there was still some left! I put it in the freezer and a few days later I used it as a base for a homemade pizza and it was wicked-amazing – the best flavored pizza I’ve ever had! Al always says I pick the best toppings for pizza and this time it was also the sauce.
2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed (I used two of the little packages of fresh herbs from the store)
1/3 cup pine nuts (I got these at Bulk Barn and I specifically only bought enough as they are expensive)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Vegan parmesan flavour grated soy topping
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Combine the basil and the pine nuts, pulse a few times in the food processor.
Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.
Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula and then slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on.
Stop again and scrape down the sides.
Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended.
Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.