Homemade pesto sauce is one of the most versatile things I know. And basil is one of my favorite herbs that represents summer like no other. Who has never had a pot of basil in need of a trim after several months growing in the kitchen? Basil is an annual herb, an ingredient that appeals and brings back summer memories. It can hold up until the first days of cold weather but it will die before the freeze arrives. It’s in its genes. My basil pot had been in my kitchen for months. I grabbed a leaf here and there. With summer in full force, I couldn’t resist: I had to use it all up before lit goes wild!
I used only the traditional pesto ingredients for my pesto recipe.
At first the quantities were a guessing game until I got the version I liked the most. The improved recipe only involved a few septs. In a food processor, add a cup of fresh basil, half a cup of pine nuts roasted for 5 minutes on the stove, two cloves of garlic, extra virgin olive oil and parmesan cheese to taste. Then you just grind it adding more olive oil until you get the right consistency. In the end I always taste to correct the salt.
The homemade pesto sauce is ready to go!
I can’t talk enough about how good this pesto sauce is with just a good dose of wholegrain spaghetti (or other pasta really) and a few shavings of parmesan. And nothing else! Any fresh pesto pasta can go the all way from a starter dish, but it’s so good that I insist on making it as the main dish. For the more demanding ones I suggest pesto with walnuts in your pasta and more basil leaves to crunch. It’s the best!
Pesto sauce can be used in many different ways and the second best is, without a doubt, is to add it to some beautiful tomato and mozzarella cheese to a classic pesto salad for a summer picnic. But it’s also perfect as a pesto dip for crackers or nachos, in a pesto pizza, pesto gnocchi. Add it to any stuffed pasta like tortellini to a pesto pasta salad, or to a baked pesto chicken or baked pesto potatoes with a touch of lemon.
Fresh pesto sauce recipes, especially homemade pesto, should be refrigerated with an extra layer of olive oil and must be consumed within a week or two. It is certainly superior to any pesto sauce you can buy at the supermarkets. Mine only lasted about 2 days, just because it was so so good. Anyone else with a basil needing a trim?