1.5cupsbasil leavespacked, small variety (~75 small leaves)
2tbsppine nutspreferably toasted
⅓cupParmesan or Grana Padano cheesefreshly grated
2clovesgarlicchopped and smashed
½cupextra virgin olive oil
½tspsaltcoarse salt if possible
Place your food processor bowl and blade in the fridge while you get the rest of the ingredients set up!
Optional *but highly recommended: use a skillet to toast the pine nuts over medium, stirring frequently, for about 2 to 4 minutes. Let them cool.
Wash the basil leaves and dry them thoroughly (they need to be dry!)
Add the basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic, cheese, and salt to the bowl of the food processor and pulse until a coarse mixture forms
Now, add the olive oil slowly through the spout of the food processor and pulse to combine until a smooth sauce forms. Note: if your food processor does not have a spout through which you can pour the olive oil, just add the oil slowly and use a spatula to combine as you pour!
If you don't have a food processor, you can use a mortar and pestle - in fact, this is how it's traditionally done in Genoa!
Most Parmesan cheese, unfortunately, is not vegetarian (they include calf rennet). Please make sure to use vegetarian Parmesan if you'd like to keep a certain diet!
Don't cook the pesto when you use it in pasta! Instead, boil the pasta to instructions on package, reserve ⅓ cup of pasta water (per box of pasta cooked). Add the cooked pasta to a mixing bowl, add pesto and slowly add the pasta water and toss to combine. Garnish and serve for deliciousness!