Anyone love pasta but not tomato sauce, then this fresh pesto recipe is for you! Super easy to make, traditional pesto is made using fresh basil, pine nuts, kosher salt, garlic, Parmesan cheese and olive oil.
Pesto is a wonderful sauce from Genoa, Italy that is perfect tossed with fresh pasta, spread on toasted bread or as a dip with vegetables. It consists of garlic, pine nuts, coarse salt, basil leaves and a hard cheese such as Parmigiano-Reggiano that gets blended with olive oil.
I like to add a pinch of red pepper flakes to mine for a little kiss of heat.
The aroma from homemade pesto is so powerful. Fresh is always best to me, but feel free to grab some already made from the market. Sometimes I mix it up with the nuts I add, sometimes pine nuts other times walnut or cashew.
If your not a tomato fan and need a great substitute for red tomato sauce, this is for you.
What herb is used in pesto?
Basil is one of my favorite herbs right up there with Thyme. Basil is originally native to India and other tropical regions of Asia, but best known as a culinary herb prominently featured in Italian cuisine. It also plays a major role in Southeast Asian cuisines of Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and the cuisine of Taiwan.
What does basil taste like?
The leaves may taste somewhat like anise, with a strong, pungent, often sweet smell. It’s aroma is soothing and when used fresh adds that extra something to salads, soups and pasta dishes.
Fresh Pesto Recipe
- 3/4 cup pine nuts
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes optional
- 3/4 cup Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese freshly grated
- 3 cups basil leaves packed
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Add all ingredients except for basil and olive oil to food processor. Blend with pulsing motion for a minute or so to breakdown and form a paste.
- Next add the basil and with processor running slowly add the oil in a steady stream to blend thoroughly.
- This makes 3 cups of fresh basil pesto which can be used over hot pasta or as a dipping sauce.