Pesto, Classic Basil

Classic Basil Pesto

Recipe by David EllisCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy


Total time



This recipe makes enough pesto for a pound of pasta (or about 500 g) and a little left over. Use the extra as a topping for grilled chicken breast. Add a teaspoon or two to a basic vinaigrette, or combine some with aioli or mayonnaise and spread on sandwiches.


  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed

  • 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted and cooled

  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/3-1/2 cup parmesan cheese, preferably parmigiano reggiano


  • In the bowl of a food processor, add the basil, minced garlic, roasted pine nuts and salt. Process on high for about 15-20 seconds. With the processor still running, slowly pour in the olive oil and continue to puree until smooth.
  • Add the grated parmesan and pulse several times to combine. Finish stirring by hand. Taste for salt and add as needed.
  • Serve immediately over warm pasta or store in an air-tight container and cover with a layer of olive oil to prevent discoloration. Pesto can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. If you would like to freeze the pesto, it will last for up to 3 months, but leave out the parmesan. Add it after the pesto has been thawed, just before use.