Homemade pesto is an amazing fresh and vibrant Italian type sauce that can be added to pasta, meat or used as a dip. There are many types of pesto recipes which utilize many different types of ingredients but this pesto is the more traditional basil version.
Traditionally basil pesto is made with basil, parmesan cheese, garlic and olive oil and pine nuts. This version uses almonds which I think tastes so much better. You can also use walnuts if you do not have almonds available or opt for the traditional pine nuts.
Pesto is used by the Italians in many different types of dishes. The traditional way of adding it to pasta like in my pesto pasta which is what most of us know of and it tastes amazing.
Some other ways to use pesto:
- Served over chicken or fish
- As a dip for vegetables
- My favorite way which is to serve a big bowl of it with some good Italian crusty bread to dip in it.
- You can also use it as a topping for your soups like Minestrone to add a punch of flavor.
One of the great things about making your own homemade pesto is that you can customize it to your own taste. Just like I did here, I prefer almonds to pine nuts so that is what I used. You can also go heavier or lighter on the garlic, olive oil or other ingredients.
The only thing you want to make sure you do when you adjust the ingredients is make sure you achieve the right consistency at the end. Somewhat thick and not runny is the ideal pesto consistency.
Once you try out the homemade basil pesto, you can start experimenting with other types of pesto. From sun dried tomato pesto to arugula and spinach pesto. There is no wrong way to make this amazing Italian staple.
It is all about using fresh and delicious ingredients and what you have on hand. Italian cooking is all about not wasting anything.
Add this recipe to your rotation for the summer when basil is abundant!
- 4 cloves of garlic minced
- a heaping 1/2 cup of chopped fresh parsely
- a heaping 1/2 cup of course chopped fresh basil
- 1/2 cup of shredded fresh parmesan
- 3 tbsp of olive oil
- 3 tbsp of vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup of slivered almonds or walnuts Make sure they are toasted
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- Add all of your ingredients to a food processor starting with your liquids first so they are at the bottom.
- Pulse your ingredients until they begin to come together and form a pesto.
- Do not over mix or your pesto will be too smooth; you want a little texture.
- Taste for seasoning and add any salt or pepper as needed.