My favorite basil pesto recipe is from Marcella Hazan’s The Classic Italian Cookbook (which looks as though it is being re-released this year!). I have been making her pesto for years – my favorite is to store it in ice cube trays or little containers in the freezer and bring it out when I need it.
- 2 cups fresh basil
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts (I used Trader Joes toasted pine nuts)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons grated Romano pecorino cheese
- 3 tablespoons butter
Blend the first 5 ingredients together (I use my food processor), scraping the bowl from time to time. Pour into a bowl and blend the cheeses and butter in by hand. Since I freeze my pesto for later use, I don’t add the cheeses and butter until right before I am ready to use (if at all).
And if you make your own or buy your favorite store brand, here are 5 easy ways to use Basil Pesto:
- Spread a tablespoon over a piece of salmon or a chicken breast and roast in the oven, 400F, for 15-20 minutes
- Toss with cubed or new potatoes, either steamed or roasted, and serve
- Make Susan Hattie Steinsapir’s Goat Cheese Torta with Pesto (one of the first recipes I pulled off the internet, back in 1994-95 when rec.food.cooking was really lively)
- Toss with whole wheat pasta, halved cherry tomatoes and little mozarella balls. Serve cold.
- Swirl a spoonful of pasta into a minestrone or pasta e fagioli soup, right before serving
What is your favorite way to use pesto?