How to Make
the Best Pesto Sauce
pesto is as indispensable to pasta lovers as chili is to chili
lovers. Tossed with freshly cooked pasta it makes a fabulous meal.
It also compliments a wide variety of other foods making it a must
have in any foodie's pantry.
This recipe by Jerry Traunfeld,
published in The Herb Farm Cookbook, makes the best basil
pesto I've ever tasted. Follow his directions to the letter and
you'll also end up with a perfectly balanced fragrant and
voluptuous basil pesto sauce.
Making it by hand with a mortar
and pestle arguably produces the better pesto. But with a
processor or blender you can make a perfectly good batch of pesto
in just a few minutes and with very little effort.
Makes about 1 cup, enough to
sauce a bowl of pasta for 4
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 3 tablespoons raw pine nuts
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 cups sweet basil leaves,
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan
- In a food processor (or hand
held blender), process the garlic, pine nuts and salt until
finely ground. About 15 seconds.
- Add the basil leaves to the
bowl and process in spurts until no whole leaves remain.
- With the machine running, pour
the oil through the feed tube in a steady stream. Stop and
scrape down the sides, then process for several more seconds.
The mixture should be ground to a paste-like consistency but a
little bit of the leaves' texture should remain. If necessary,
quickly pulse the mixture again.
- Add the cheese and pulse until
- Serve immediately.
Recipes and Resources
cooking to the next level with a FREE Herbal
Learning Centre membership.
Best Basil Pesto Recipe employs the mortar and pestle method
and it is by far the most popular pesto with our students and
Pesto Recipe gives you simple ratios for creating your
own pesto recipes.
- Follow Jerry Traunfeld (@poppyseatle)
on Twitter and get a copy of his The Herb Farm Cookbook.
Asked Questions about Pesto
What is pesto?
Pesto is a classic cold Italian basil sauce from Genoa. It's a
bright green, aromatic and full-flavoured sauce with a thick
pouring consistency. The name 'pesto' comes from the original
method of preparing the basil by pounding it with a pestle in a
What is in pesto?
The classic Italian pesto is simply fresh basil leaves pounded
with a bit of salt, a handful of pine nuts, some grated Parmesan
cheese, and some richly flavoured olive oil.
Can I freeze pesto?
Though nothing compares to a batch of freshly made pesto it does
have excellent keeping qualities. You can keep it in the
refrigerator for up to 2 weeks and for longer storage you can
freeze it for up to 6 months.
FREE Herb Lesson Download
What Goes With...? A
Foodies Guide to Seasoning with Herbs and Spices
If you've ever wondered what goes with what, this lesson is especially for
you. Featuring more than 80 ingredients with their flavour combinations
you'll be able to create familiar, friendly flavours as well as bold
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