This basil sauce is traditionally made using a mortar and pestle to pound it into a paste. This recipe uses a food processor for an easier preparation, but you could also use a blender. Pesto can be used as a pasta sauce, a sandwich spread, or a stuffing enhancement. It also is the perfect condiment to stir into Minestrone.
INGREDIENTS | SERVES 4
- 2 cloves garlic
- ⅓ cup pine nuts or walnuts
- 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon plain yogurt
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Lay the pine nuts or walnuts out in an even layer on an ungreased baking sheet pan; bake for 10 minutes. Set aside.
In a food processor, chop the garlic and nuts together to make a paste.
Add the basil and 2 tablespoons of the oil to the food processor and process with the nuts and garlic.
With the processor running and the pour hole on the top open, pour the rest of the oil in a thin stream into the basil mixture to form a purée.
Add the Parmesan cheese and salt, and process to blend.
Store with a teaspoon of plain yogurt stirred into the pesto to prevent it from turning black.