Presto Pesto

pestoFeel like eating something fresh and want it to take 4 minutes to make?

Then make this. Add it to pasta, to soup or use as a dip. If you don’t like basil or pine nuts you can switch or add other flavours. See below for variations.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups of fresh basil leaves (washed and tightly packed)
  • 125mL good quality olive oil
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts (lightly toast for extra flavour)
  • 2 cloves garlic – peeled (I find fresh garlic a bit strong, so you may want to either cut down number of cloves and/or roast the garlic so it isn’t so “bitey” and “strongly” flavoured. Information on how to roast garlic here)
  • salt
  • 60g (3/4 cup) Parmesan cheese – grated
  • pasta of your choice

 Equipment

  • Pot and colander (for pasta)
  • Mixing spoon
  • food processor or stick mixer with processor attachment

Method

  1. Add basil, garlic, pine nuts, oil and salt to processor. Whiz until evenly chopped. You may need to scrape down sides a few times.
  2. Add cheese and whiz quickly to combine.
  3. This can be stored in jar under oil in fridge. If you wish to use to immediately, I suggest you mix it with UNRINSED pasta as the starch on the pasta assists the pesto to “stick” to the pasta. If you add a little bit (ie 50mL) of the drained pasta water, this will help further.

 Variations

  • Mix basil and rocket for a bit more “bite” or “pepper”
  • Just use rocket and no basil.
  • Try different basil – not just traditional green.
  • Want to be super healthy? Try kale.
  • Instead of pine nuts use toasted walnuts or cashews.
  • Want to add some spice – add some fresh chilli.