It’s late spring in Texas and the sweet basil is growing like crazy in my garden so that means its time to start making pesto. To say that I love pesto would be an understatement, the freshness from the herbs, the slight kick from the garlic, the nutty flavor from the pine nuts, and the salty bite from the parmigiano reggiano cheese make this sauce good on everything. I always love pesto on whole-wheat pasta and it makes an amazing sauce on a grilled chicken pizza. Pesto is great added into soups, used as a marinade for shrimp, and it makes mouth-watering lasagna. Pesto is even great whipped up with butter then spread on to a loaf of good crusty French bread for an aromatic twist on garlic bread. The uses for this beautiful green sauce are endless and I always keep it on hand in the freezer.
3 cups fresh sweet Italian Basil leaves
1 cup fresh flat leaf Italian parsley
3 cloves of garlic
1 cup fresh grated parmigiano reggiano
½ cup toasted pine nuts
1 lemon (the zest and juice)
2 pinches of red pepper flakes
½ of good quality extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
In a food processor fitted with a steel blade add the garlic cloves and pulse 4 times. Then add in your Basil, parsley, red pepper flakes, lemon zest and juice and pulse another 5 times. Next add in the parmigiano reggiano cheese and the toasted pine nuts and pulse another 5 times. Last with the machine running slowly stream in the olive oil until well incorporated. Salt and pepper to taste.
Makes enough for 1lb of pasta.
**If you are not going to use this immediately store in the refrigerator or freezer in an airtight container with 2 tablespoon of olive oil on top.