Basil pesto is one of the easiest and fastest things to make. Whenever I am tired or pinched for time, this is one of my go-to recipes. Fresh and bright flavors in just minutes! What could be better?You can use this sauce in so many ways. Pasta, tortellini, as a dipper for bread, in risotto, sauce base for pizza, on a sandwich…
After studying abroad in Italy for college, I learned that not all of the foods that we consider to be Italian can be found in Italy. But this is something that I did come across here and there.My food processor has this ready in seconds. Just throw all the ingredients in a food processor, blend, and you are good to go! If you do not have a food processor, you need one! I have two (yes, two) and I use them alllllll the time. They can do so many things: shredding, slicing, blending, etc. We buy brick cheese and it is shredded in seconds. This affiliate link is for a food processor very similar to the one that I have. I could not live without mine!
There are so many mix ins that you can use. I love asparagus, corn, red onion, and cherry tomatoes. My husband asks for this at least once a week, so I get creative with how I use the pesto and what I put in it to change things up. Meat lovers in the family? Add some Italian sausage coins or chicken strips.I like to leave my sauce a little chunky with a little texture. If you want it smoother, just process longer.It also freezes well! Just mix and blend the basil pesto until it is in sauce form and then scoop into a freezer bag. The oil will help keep the basil green.
- 1 lb dried pasta of choice
- 2 cups fresh basil
- 1 cup kale chopped (or parsley)
- 1 lemon juiced
- 3 cloves garlic peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup pine nuts toasted
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- Toast pine nuts in a saute pan over medium low heat until they start to turn a light brown. Stir occasionally for even toasting.
- Start cooking pasta as per package directions.
- If you are including any sauteed vegetables, start sauteing them now.
- Meanwhile, add all other ingredients to food processor.
- When nuts are toasted, add nuts to food processor. Turn on and blend until all ingredients are incorporated, approximately 20 seconds.
- When pasta is done, drain and add back to pot. Add pesto sauce and any vegetables or add-ins. Stir to combine until evenly coated.
- Diced tomatoes
- Cherry tomatoes, halved
- Sauteed red onion
- Asparagus, 1" pieces
- Sauteed zucchini
- Sun dried tomatoes, chopped