The New Best Recipe
¼ cup pine nuts, walnuts or almonds
3 medium garlic cloves, unpeeled
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
2 tbsp packed fresh parsley leaves (optional)
7 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1. Toast the nuts into a small, heavy skillet, over medium heat, stirring frequently, until just golden and fragrant, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer the nuts to a plate.
2. Add the garlic to the empty pan. Toast, shaking pan occasionally, until the cloves are fragrant and their color deepen slightly, about 7 minutes. Transfer the garlic to a cutting board: cool, peel and chop.
3. Place the basil and parsley (if using) in a heavy-duty gallon sized zipper lock plastic bag. Pound the bag with the flat side of a meat pounder or a rolling pin until all the leaves are bruised.
4. Place the nuts, garlic, herbs, oil, and ½ tsp salt in a food processor and process until smooth, stopping as necessary to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl, stir the Parmesan cheese, and adjust the salt to taste. (The surface of the pesto can be covered with a sheet of plastic wrap or a thin film of oil and the pesto can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
- I omitted the parsley as I didn't have it on hand.
- I don't like my pesto so oily, so I only used about 3 tbsp of olive oil.
- I made about 3/4 lb of spaghetti and tossed the pesto with the spaghetti and some of the pasta water.