Nothing compares to the taste of homemade pesto. It has been a staple in our house forever. These days it is starting to feel like a luxury as the price of pine nuts has gone up so much (stop it, I know – listen to me!) but it’s a luxury I’m prepared to shell out for.
I love pesto with farfalle (perhaps a little too much), I often use it on pizza or mixed with some goat’s cheese in tortellini. However you like to enjoy your pesto it will be all the sweeter for making your own.
A large bunch of basil, leaves picked
A handful of pine nuts
A handful of finely grated Parmesan
1 small clove of garlic (or a big one if you love garlic)
The juice of half a lemon
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper to season.
Makes about half a jar, I normally make double this amount.
Keeps in the fridge for a month (the top of the pesto must be covered by oil and the jar sealed) or can be preserved in sterile jars (I leave out the Parmesan to be added before use)
- Heat a wide flat pan on the stove over a medium flame and then scatter in the pine nuts to toast. Give them a jiggle every now and then to turn them about. After a few minutes all sides should be a toasty brown. Turn out into a pestle and mortar, allow to cool a little then grind to a coarse consistency.
- While this is going on: pick your basil leaves, grate your Parmesan, crush the garlic, squeeze the lemon and pop them all in the processor.
- Add in the pine nuts and olive oil then blend until the pesto is how you’d like it (I like quite a fine cut on the herbs, others prefer it more rustic).
- Taste the sauce, season with a little pepper and then either store as above or use right away – the choice is yours!