Classic Basil Pesto
Prep time
Total time
Fresh basil combines with the nuts and garlic to make a beautiful classic pesto.
  • 2 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
  • ½ cup Parmesan-Reggiano, grated
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ⅓ cup Pine nuts or walnuts
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Combine olive oil and minced garlic. Warm in microwave for 30 to 45 seconds to infuse garlic flavoring into the oil.
  2. Combine the basil with the pine nuts or walnuts. Pulse a few times in a food processor.
  3. Slowly add the olive oil/garlic mixture in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. The mixture should be ground to a paste-like consistency but a little bit of the leaves' texture should remain.
  4. Add the grated cheese, salt and pepper. Pulse again until blended.
  5. Serve over pasta, baked potatoes, or spread over toasted baguette slices.
(1) Sweet Genovese basil works best, giving the most flavorful pesto.
(2) When making bread, flatten out the dough, spread with pesto sauce and roll up tight. Bake as you normally would. Pesto gives a lovely taste and presentation within the bread.
(3) Makes 1 cup
Recipe by Pray Cook Blog at